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Title: Thorium: Issues and prospects in Malaysia

In Malaysia, thorium exists in minerals and rare earth elements production residue. The average range of thorium content in Malaysian monazite and xenotime minerals was found about 70,000 and 15,000 ppm respectively. About 2,636 tonnes of Malaysian monazite was produced for a period of 5 years (2006-2010) and based on the above data, it can be estimated that Malaysian monazite contains about 184.5 tonnes of thorium. Although thorium can become a major radiological problem to our environment, but with the significant deposit of thorium in Malaysian monazite, it has a prospect as a future alternative fuel in nuclear technology. This paper will discuss the thorium issues in Malaysia especially its long term radiological risks to public health and environment at storage and disposal stages, the prospect of exploring and producing high purity thorium from our rare earth elements minerals for future thorium based reactor. This paper also highlights the holistic approach in thorium recovery from Malaysian rare earth element production residue to reduce its radioactivity and extraction of thorium and rare earth elements from the minerals with minimum radiological impact to health and environment.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Nuclear Science Programme, School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia. walareqi@yahoo.com (Malaysia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22391633
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1659; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: NuSTEC2014: Nuclear Science, Technology, and Engineering Conference 2014, Skudai, Johor (Malaysia), 11-13 Nov 2014; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ALTERNATIVE FUELS; EXTRACTION; MALAYSIA; MONAZITES; NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY; NUCLEAR FUELS; RARE EARTHS; RESIDUES; THORIUM; THORIUM 232; THORIUM CYCLE; XENOTIME