Is Nuclear Power in Your Future?


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Schematic of a pumpless light water reactor: Image by KVDP

Nuclear Power… Continued

Nuclear Technology: What are the New Goals?

Will nuclear power ever be safe? There are risks in everything we do. But realistically, when you split an atom, there is risk, and the future of nuclear power research understands this. Initiated in 2000, the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) was created to represent the governments of 13 countries where nuclear power is, or will be, significant. The charter is intended to participate in the development of the goals and design of reactor technologies for the future, thus, Gen IV. Goals recently developed through the GIF, of which the United States is a member, focus in broad areas such as: sustainability, economics, safety, reliability, proliferation resistance and physical protection.

Nuclear Sustainability: Produce sustainable energy that meets clean air objectives, and offers long-term availability and effective fuel utilization.

Nuclear Economics: Provide a clear life-cycle cost advantage and financial risk comparable to other energy producers.

Nuclear Safety and Reliability: Excel with a low likelihood of reactor core damage, and eliminate the need for offsite emergency response.

Nuclear Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection: Obtain the objective of least desirable route for production of weapon-usable material and increased physical protection.

Among these important standards provided by the GIF, other design features are analyzed such as passive safety systems (not power initiated) and higher core efficiencies.

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