This week's animation explains the thorium nuclear reactor.

A number of research projects are currently exploring thorium as an alternative to traditional nuclear fuels. A traditional nuclear reactor generates energy by heating water using enriched uranium rods. The uranium's nuclear reactions heat the water into massively pressurised steam which is then used to turn a turbine, creating electricity.

Thorium reactors operate in a similar way, but the process is safer and easier to control, and the waste produced has a far shorter half-life, meaning it loses its dangerous radioactivity much faster than traditional nuclear reactors.

We are grateful to Roger Barlow, a research professor at Huddersfield University, for his help with this animation. Professor Barlow is also the chairman of the Thorium Energy Association, ThorEA.

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Source: Al Jazeera