The Rubbia TABS, Solutions or Illusions? A Critical Analysis of Prof. Rubbia's Thorium Accelerator Based System (TABS) Concept
|Author||WISE Paris, M.Pavageau, Mycle Schneider|
|Classification||6.01.2.75/01 (THORIUM CYCLE - REACTOR TYPES (E.G. RUBBIA))|
From the publication:
The Rubbia TABS, Solutions or lllusions? A Critical Analysis of Prof. Rubbia's Thorium Accelerator Based System (TABS) Concept Author: Mathieu Pavageau Project Coordinator: Mycle Schoeider Commissioned by Greenpeace-Spain Paris, January 1997 INTRODUCTION In 1993, Prof. Carlo Rubbia, former head of the European nuclear research center CERNl in Switzerland and Nobel prize winner, presenled the concept of a new nuclear instaHalion which would have astonishing characteristics: the reactor would be completely safe, it would produce virtually no radioactive waste, and very cheap electricity. The new nuclear fuel would be based on thorium allowing for electricity generation for thousands of years. Finally the device, thought by Prof. Rubbia to reptace today's nuclear fission reactors, could be developed in just a few years time. While its theoretica} advantages are excellent, the project is subject to significant controversy. Some of the technologies envisaged by Prof. Rubbia have been stuclied since the 1950s but none has yet emerged as viabie while some research is still be carried out. Furthermore, Prof. Rubbia's proposals have been developed at the CERN large research center while the nuclear industry has practically not collaborated on the project yet. At the same time Prof. Rubbia and his coiJeagues seem to be confident of having attained a design which would already demonstrate the capabilities of the device. The objective of the present analysis is two-fold. First the proposal as it has been presenled by Prof. Rubbia will be analysed. Additional comments and critics formulated by the nuclear industry, officials from nuclear safety authorities and various international experts enlarge the views on the viability of the proposals. Secondly, the report will analyse Prof. Rubbia's proposal-to the extent as it is known - to develop his system as major future energy source.