The Advanced heavy-water reactor (AHWR) is a key component of the final stage of the three-stage Indian Nuclear program. In this context, what is / are difference(s) between the AHWR and AHWR-LEU?
1. While AHWR uses only Thorium as fuel, AHWR-LEU uses Thorium as well as Uranium
2. While AHWR is intended for domestic use, AHWR-LEU is intended for export
Which among the above is / are correct statements?
AHWR is intended for domestic use and the AHWR-LEU for export. The AHWR is the key component of the final stage of the three-stage Indian Nuclear program, “Thorium Utilization for Sustainable Power Programme,” that has been in development since the 1950’s. The nuclear program in India has historically assumed a heavy reliance on the ultimate transition to a thorium-based fuel cycle due to the abundant domestic thorium resources and the scarcity of domestic uranium.
Both the AHWR and AHWR-LEU use thorium-based oxide fuels, with the AHWR using both UO2/ThO2 and PuO2/ThO2 fuels simultaneously, while AHWR-LEU uses only UO2/ThO2 fuel.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module