Publication Laka-library:
The Rubbia TABS, Solutions or Illusions? A Critical Analysis of Prof. Rubbia's Thorium Accelerator Based System (TABS) Concept

AuthorWISE Paris, M.Pavageau, Mycle Schneider
DateJanuary 1997

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

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.