India on Thursday announced it has designed a new version of Advanced Heavy Water atomic reactor which will use lesser low enriched uranium along with thorium as fuel and having next generation safety requirements.
"A new version of AHWR named Advanced Heavy Water Reactor-Low Enriched Uranium (AHWR-LEU) that uses low enriched uranium along with thorium as fuel has been been designed recently," chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar said at the International Atomic Energy Agency's(IAEA)'s General Conference.
The reactor has a significantly lower requirement of mined uranium per unit energy produced as compared to most of the current generation thermal reactors, Kakodkar said.
India, which has large thorium reserves, has chalked out a nuclear power programme based on its domestic resource position of uranium and thorium.
"This version can also meet the requirement of medium sized reactors in countries with small grids while meeting the requirements of next generation systems," Kakodkar said indicating that India was ready for export of such reactors in the near future.
"While we strongly advocate recycle option, AHWR-LEU would also compete very favourably even in once through mode of fuel cycle (where spent fuel is stored without reprocessing)," he said adding that the Department of Atomic energy has circulated a brochure of AHWR-LEU at the Conference for the benefit of potential customers.