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Sustainability Assessment of Open Cycle Thorium-Fuelled Nuclear Energy (EPSRC)

Dr Dick Fenner is part of a team of engineers who are working to establish the more holistic notions of economic, social and environmental sustainability for open cycle thorium reactors beyond the conventional considerations of fuel resource depletion . The  research will  assess and validate metric frameworks for sustainability,   which will benefit energy generation policy decisions.  The work will  examine the pathways that allow for thorium to be considered as an avenue for realising sustainable energy networks across the world and ratifying and improving sustainable development methodologies for handling the environmental and health risks posed by utilising radioactive material for commodities and services.. A particular challenge for the thorium fuel cycle is in the selection of  appropriate scope boundaries, given the absence of previous studies. The work will take  full consideration of the impacts of thorium use from mineral extraction, through processing and reactor construction and  use to the disposal of all associated waste materials.