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India, boasting the world’s largest thorium reserves, is making significant strides in harnessing this potential game-changer for its energy needs. Thorium-rich beaches along the eastern Odisha coastline and Kerala’s sands hold the key to this clean and abundant energy source.

Thorium’s appeal lies in its abundance – exceeding that of uranium – and its minimal environmental impact. Unlike conventional nuclear fuel, thorium doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and produces less radioactive waste. Scientists at India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DoAE) view thorium as a “practically inexhaustible energy source” for the future.

India’s progress in this field is exemplified by the Kalpakkam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. This indigenously built prototype fast breeder reactor, successfully tested, demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing thorium to generate power. The Kalpakkam reactor’s ability to convert thorium to usable Uranium-233 fuel marks a critical milestone.

Underscoring the importance of thorium, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself visited the Kalpakkam plant to witness the “commencement of core loading.” This signifies the government’s commitment to developing thorium-based nuclear energy.

Thorium-powered systems hold immense potential for decarbonizing India’s energy sector. This aligns perfectly with India’s ambitious goal of tripling its nuclear power generation capacity by 2030, striving to achieve “energy security and sustainable development” simultaneously. With its clean and abundant nature, thorium offers a promising solution for India’s future energy needs.