Indian scientists today unveiled a revolutionary design for a thorium breeder reactor (ATBR) that can produce 600 megawatts of electricity for two years with no refueling and practically no control maneuvers:
ATBR is claimed to be far more economical and safer than any power reactor in the world.Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy Environment Energy Politics Technology Economics
Most significantly for India, ATBR does not require natural or enriched uranium which the country is finding difficult to import. It uses thorium -- which India has in plenty -- and only requires plutonium as "seed" to ignite the reactor core initially.
... The uniqueness of the ATBR design is that there is almost a perfect "balance" between fissile depletion and production that allows in-bred U-233 to take part in energy generation thereby extending the core life to two years.
This does not happen in the present-day power reactors because the fissile depletion takes place much faster than production of new fissile ones.