-India has 1/3 of the world's reserves of Thorium
This is one reactor that ain't ever gonna meltdown. If it tries to overheat, you simply switch off the accelerator ... and the reaction just fizzles out.
And it produces zero plutonium -- so no bombs. The thorium core is so efficient it can even burn old plutonium, as well as nuclear waste, cooking the whole lot into oblivion.
What is special about thorium?
(1) Weapons-grade fissionable material (uranium233) is harder to retrieve safely and clandestinely from the thorium reactor than plutonium is from the uranium breeder reactor.
(2) Thorium produces 10 to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste than uranium or plutonium reactors.
(3) Thorium comes out of the ground as a 100% pure, usable isotope, which does not require enrichment, whereas natural uranium contains only 0.7% fissionable U235.
(4) Because thorium does not sustain chain reaction, fission stops by default if we stop priming it, and a runaway chain reaction accident is improbable.
Besides, the priming process is extremely efficient: the nuclear process puts out 60 times the energy required to keep it primed. Because of this, the device is also called, (quite inappropriately) an "Energy Amplifier."
The radioactive waste from the thorium reactor contains vastly less long-lived radioactive material than that from conventional reactors. In particular, plutonium is completely absent absent from the thorium reactor's waste. While the radioactivity during the first few days is likely to be similar to that in conventional reactors, there is at least a ten-fold reduction of radioactivity in the waste products after 100 years, and a 10,000 fold reduction after 500 years. From a waste storage point of view, this is a significant advantage.
India is an emerging leader in the development of reactor and associated fuel cycle technologies for Thorium utilization .A 30 KW(Th) research reactor KAMINI has become operational last year and is perhaps, one of its only kind in the world currently operating with uranium-233 based nuclear fuel .India's Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) which employs thorium based fuel , has several advanced passive safety features, and goes beyond the requirements generally stipulated for the next generation nuclear power plants, currently being developed.
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has estimated that India's thorium reserves can amount to a staggering 3,58,000 GWe-yr (Giga Watt Electrical - Year) of energy, enough for the next century and beyond