While thorium reactors are currently banned in Australia, they are recognized to have less waste than uranium reactors, and do not have the capacity to produce weapons.
Spokesperson for SDH and the Australian/ Czech consortium, Phil Joyce, told Australian Mining that work has already begun on developing a 60MW pilot plant in Prague, with preparatory work on the prototype to be finalised next year.
Development is slated to cost around $300 million.
“The first stage will involve mapping the international environment in which we are required to operate, followed by the verification of the methodology. Arrangements will be discussed with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) which is responsible for monitoring the activity and progress,” Joyce said.
“The time for planning and building thorium fuelled base-load energy plants has come and we are looking forward to developing the first working model that will be connected to the grid.”
Work by Geoscience Australia, published in 2007 estimates that Australia is home to the world’s largest estimated thorium reserves, and preliminary data suggest that Australia may account for about 18 % of the world’s total Reasonably Assured Resources and Inferred Resources of thorium.