Thorium, Turkey’s New Energy Solution
Looking to the Future with Thorium
Thorium will be used frequently in the near future and will meet most of the world’s energy needs in the future. In this presentation, we will discuss what thorium is, the benefits and solutions of thorium reactors and Turkey’s thorium reserve.
What is Thorium?
It is the symbol for the chemical element Thorium and its atomic number is 90. Uranium is found with other radioactive elements such as plutonium.
Thorium can be made commercially available for energy production at low levels of radioactivity.
Thorium is seen as a safe, inexpensive and sustainable source for nuclear power generation.
Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR)
An environmentally friendly option with reduced waste generation. It provides sustainable energy in the long run.
Melting Salt Reactor (MSR)
It is one of the environmentally friendly options. It is also used in industrial processes due to its high temperature processing properties.
Core Ball Reactor (PBR)
It is safe because it works with low pressure and high temperature. It produces energy without air pollution.
Integral Fast Reactor (IFR)
It produces more efficient energy using unconsumed nuclear fuel. It leaves less nuclear waste as it uses its by-products.
Benefits of Thorium
Cheap and Sustainable
Thorium is a safe and inexpensive source of energy at low levels of radioactive waste.
Less Radioactive Waste
Thorium reactors produce less radioactive waste than other nuclear power technologies.
Thorium provides an energy-safe future.
Decreased Use of Fossil Fuels
Thorium provides a cleaner environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Development of Hybrid Reactors
Thorium fuel is available as an option for the majority of hybrid nuclear reactors. This reduces the amount of waste generation and increases safety.
Thorium recycling is a process that follows the approach used in the USA. This process helps optimize thorium utilization.
It is an economically strategic option for investors to turn to thorium supply.
Turkey’s Thorium Reserve
As a result of the researches carried out by MTA for the thorium reserve of our country, complex deposits containing rare earth elements, barite and fluorite, as well as thorium, were found in an area of 15 km2 located in the northwest of Sivrihisar district of Eskişehir, between Kızılcaören, Karkın and Okçu Villages. . According to the report prepared in 1977, the average grade of the ore in the mentioned region was determined as 0.21% ThO2, and the total reserve was determined as approximately 374,000 tons of ThO2.
It is located in the lattice structure of thorium, monazite and torobastnasite minerals in the region. Although the grade may reach up to 3% in some samples, the average grade of the bed is 0.2%. Conducting more detailed exploration studies in Malatya-Hekimhan-Kuluncak, Kayseri-Felahiye, Sivas, Diyarbakır and Burdur-Çanaklı fields, where thorium deposits have been identified, except for this region Figure 4- World thorium reserve (%) share India 13% Brazil 10% Australia 9 % USA 9% Egypt 6% Turkey 6% Venezuela 5% Canada 3% Russia 2% South Africa 2% China 2% Norway 1% Greenland 1% Finland 1% Sweden 1% Kazakhstan 1% Other Countries 27% 22% as a result of thorium in our country reserves are expected to increase.
Source: Mta General Manager.
Thorium Reserves on Earth
Atomic Energy Agency
According to estimates by the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2005, the richest thorium resources on earth are as follows (tonnes known to exist and can be mined + additional percentage potentially to be discovered)
Distribution of Thorium Reserves in the World
India: 510,000 + 21%
Australia: 489,000 + 19%
United States: 400,000 + 13%
Türkiye: 344,000 + 11%
Venezuela: 302,000 + 11%
Brazil: 302,000 + 10%
Norway: 132,000 + 4%
Corn: 100,000 + 3%
Russia: 75,000 + 2%
Greenland: 54,000 + 2%
Where Are the Richest Thorium Reserves?
Brazil: 632,000 tons
Australia: 595,000 tons
United States: 595,000
World Total: 6,390,400
Thorium Reserves on the Moon
Examination of the Moon using gamma-ray spectroscopy has shown that thorium-rich rocks are found on the side of the Moon facing the Earth. Relatively small amounts of thorium are found on the far (so-called “dark”) side of the Moon.
Distribution of thorium deposits on the Moon. On the left is the face of the Moon facing the Earth, and on the right the face away from the Earth.
Thorium is also home to an interesting mystery about the Moon. On the far side of the Moon, a condition called the Compton-Belkovich Thorium Anomaly has been detected: It’s called an “anomaly” because this thorium deposit was discovered in a volcanic complex 1 billion years ago; however, it is known that the volcanic activity on the Moon ended 3-4 billion years ago. Research on this subject continues.
Thorium Benefits to the Economy
Less Cost of Energy
Thorium requires less material to generate power. This reduces costs and benefits the economy.
Turkey can attract the attention of the world with thorium production and increase its economic power by exporting energy.
New Job Opportunities
Thorium production can create new business opportunities. Thus, the unemployment problem in Turkey can be reduced.
Conclusion and Summary
Thorium is a serious alternative in this period of increasing energy need. Turkey’s thorium reserves provide many economic benefits to our country. Another point that should not be ignored while discussing its strengths is that thorium is an attractive option for sustainable energy production.
Murat Mustafa Ciritci
t: +90 532 113 91 32