Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Sondermayer, Roman V.
Thorium, pp. 1201-1208 PDF (856.3 KB)
CONSUMPTION AND USES 1202 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 rare-earth elements and thorium were W. Ill. A number of thorium-processing com R. Grace & Co., at Chattanooga, Tenn., panies maintain stocks of various comand Lindsay Rare Earths, affiliated with pounds and the metal for nonenergy use Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp., West Chicago, and for nuclear fuels. Table 1.—Companies processing and fabricating thorium, 1972 Company Plant location Operations and products American Light Alloys, Inc Consolidated Aluminum Corp Controlled Castings Corp Gallard-Schlesinger Chemical Manufacturing Corp. General Electric Co Do W. K Grace & Co., Davison Chemical Div ~ Gulf General Atomic Co Gulf United Nuclear Fuels Corp Do Hitchcock Industries, Inc . Little Falls, N.J Madison, Ill Plainview, N.Y Cane Place, N.Y San Jose, Calif Wilmington, N.C Chattanooga, Tenn ~ San Diego, Calif Hematite, Mo New Haven, Conn South Bloomington, Minn. Magnesium-thorium alloy. Do. Do. Processes oxide, fluoride, and metal. Nuclear fuels. Do. Processes domestic and imported monazite; produces oxide; stocks of hydroxide and metal powder Nuclear fuels. Do. Do. Magnesium-thorium alloys. Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp Lindsay Rare Earths . Cimarron, Okla West Chicago, Ill ~ Nuclear fuels. Processes imported monazite; stocks of thorite; produces oxide, nitrate, and oxalate. NL Industries, Inc Nuclear Chemicals and Metals Corp - Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc Nuclear Materials & Equipment Corp. (NUMEC). Do Ventron Corp., Chemicals Div Weilman Dynamics Corp Westinghouse Electric Corp Albany, N.Y Huntsville, Tenn Erwin, Tenn Apollo, Pa Leechburg, Pa Beverly, Mass Creston, Iowa Bloomfield, N.J Nuclear fuels. Do. Do. Do. . Do. Metallic thorium. Magnesium-thorium alloy. Processes compounds; produces metallic thorium. Do Columbia, S.C Nuclear fuels. Based on monazite production and foreign trade figures, apparent consumption of thorium (in terms of Th02 equivalent) was estimated at 300 tons during 1972. However, actual domestic industrial consumption was lower because the monazite supply was processed for its rare earth content, and most of the thorium residue remained in company holding areas. Nonenergy industrial consumption was estimated at 100 to 150 tons Th02 equivalent. The major uses were in incandescent gas lamp mantles; hardener for magnesium-.thorium alloys in aerospace applications; dispersion hardening of metals such as nickel, tungsten, and stainless steel; and electronic, refractory and chemical (catalytic) applications. In the nuclear field, research and development studies continued on thorium-uranium fuels, reactor concepts for these fuels, and thorium fuels reprocessing. Thorium-uranium fuels (Thmi-Uasa fuel cycle) are used in the HTGR, the molten-salt breeder reactor, and seed-blanket loadings for the pressurized water reactor. During 1972, plans for, construction of two HTGR nuclear power plants were announced. The Southern California Edison Co. signed a letter of intent with GGA, of San Diego, Calif., a Division of Gulf Oil Corp., to design and supply two 710,000-kilowatt HTGR's to be located in the eastern California desert. A site for the facility had not been selected at yearend. The first unit was tentatively scheduled for operation in 1981. Southern California Edison has also taken an option for two additional, larger capacity HTGR units that would be located at another site. A second HTGR plant was planned by Delmarva Power and Light Co., Wilmington, Del. The new nuclear power station will consist of two 700,000-kilowatt HTGR's, and the total costs were reported to be $680 million. The site is located 15 miles south of Wilmington. Reportly, the first unit would be operational in 1979, and the second one 2 years later. GGA will design and supply the HTGR's.
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