An architecture for nuclear energy in the 21st century

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Nuclear energy currently plays a significant role in the energy economies of the US and other major industrial nations. Its future (several scenarios are described later) may involve significant growth in developing countries but controversy and debate surrounds future nuclear energy scenarios. In that ongoing debate, proponents and critics both appear to assume that nuclear technologies, practices and institutions will continue over the long term to look much as they do today. This paper discusses possible global and regional nuclear energy scenarios, and proposes changes in the global nuclear architecture that could reshape technologies, practices and institutions of nuclear energy ... continued below

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13 p.

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Arthur, E.D.; Cunningham, P.T. & Wagner, R.L. Jr. December 1, 1998.

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Description

Nuclear energy currently plays a significant role in the energy economies of the US and other major industrial nations. Its future (several scenarios are described later) may involve significant growth in developing countries but controversy and debate surrounds future nuclear energy scenarios. In that ongoing debate, proponents and critics both appear to assume that nuclear technologies, practices and institutions will continue over the long term to look much as they do today. This paper discusses possible global and regional nuclear energy scenarios, and proposes changes in the global nuclear architecture that could reshape technologies, practices and institutions of nuclear energy over the coming decades. In doing so the array of choices available for exercising the nuclear energy option could be enlarged, making such a potential deployment less problematic and perhaps less controversial. How fuel discharged from power reactors is used and disposed of is a central issue of nuclear energy`s present controversy and central factor in determining its long-term potential. Many proponents of nuclear power, especially outside the US, believe that extracting all the energy available in reactor fuel--and, in particular, recovering the plutonium from discharged fuel for recycling through breeder reactors--is necessary to realize the technology`s ultimate potential as a source of virtually inexhaustible energy. Others consider the plutonium contained in discharged fuel to be a challenge to waste disposal and a potential proliferation risk. Focusing on the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle as a principal arena for improvement represents a fruitful pathway towards creating a significantly improved fuel-cycle architecture.

Physical Description

13 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE99000691

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  • International youth forum: youth and the plutonium challenge, Obninsk (Russian Federation), 4-10 Jul 1998

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  • Other: DE99000691
  • Report No.: LA-UR--98-1931
  • Report No.: CONF-980771--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 296633
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc677218

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • December 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 6:18 p.m.

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Arthur, E.D.; Cunningham, P.T. & Wagner, R.L. Jr. An architecture for nuclear energy in the 21st century, article, December 1, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc677218/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.