Asked in Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Energy

Can you get more electricity with thorium than uranium?

Answer

Wiki User
05/19/2010

Yes, we can get more electricity from thorium, if you are asking about the supply.

When 232Th is used in a nuclear reactor, it is bred to become 233U. This isotope of uranium has about as much energy available as 235U, so the amount of energy per fission event is about the same for thorium as it is for uranium.

Aside from that, however, there are important differences. Thorium does not need to be enriched, so all of it can be used. The amount of thorium we have is a multiple of the amount of uranium. The combination means that, where we only have a few decades supply of uranium, we have enough thorium to last thousands of years.