India is said to be working on a 300 MW nuclear reactor that would use thorium instead of uranium for most of its fuel.

Plans are for the plant to be built and operational by 2020 and officials are said to be currently looking for a suitable site.

In an interview with UK newspaper the Guardian, Ratan Kumar Singh, director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai said that “the basic physics and engineering” of the plant are “in place and the design is ready”.

He said construction of the facility was at least two years away and it would take another six years before it would be commissioned.

He added: “The Advanced Heavy Water Reactor will eventually have design flexibility, using as fuel either plutonium-thorium or LEU-thorium combinations. The LEU-thorium version will make the AHWR very much marketable abroad, as it would generate very little plutonium, making it suitable for countries with high proliferation resistance.”

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