Thorium Cycle in High Temperature Gas-Cooled Gas Turbine Reactors (HTG-GT) Using Highly Enriched Uranium Obtained From the Dismantling of Nuclear Weapons PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Nicola Cerullo, Giovanni Guglielmini

Università di Genova – DINE, Genoa, Italy

A. Di Pietro

Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente – ENEA, Rome, Italy

Paper No. 94-GT-099, pp. V003T08A003; 5 pages
  • ASME 1994 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Coal, Biomass and Alternative Fuels; Combustion and Fuels; Oil and Gas Applications; Cycle Innovations
  • The Hague, Netherlands, June 13–16, 1994
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7885-9
  • Copyright © 1994 by ASME


The closed thorium fuel cycle is based on the use of fissile U-233 produced by the thorium fertilization in the original fuel element without any refabrication action, which is very difficult, due to the high activity of Thorium activated products.

The need of a consistent amount of fissile material for beginning the U-Th cycle activity, in order to sustain the Thorium conversion reactions, requires an high initial U-235 enrichment. This condition, due to high investment costs, stopped, in the last years, any initiative in this field.

The end of the cold war and the disarmament agreements pose the problem of the use of military grade fissile materials resulting from the dismantling of nuclear weapons both Russian and American.

In this paper the problem is analyzed and a High Temperature Gas-cooled Gas Turbine (HTG-GT) reactor, using a nuclear U-Th fuel cycle utilizing military grade highly enriched uranium, is proposed.

Copyright © 1994 by ASME
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