Keywords: nuclear sector, real economy, physical economy, power density, electrification, Generation IV, accelerated beta-decay, nuclear energy, nuclear power, economic growth
Nuclear power – engine for world economic recovery and development
The benefits of nuclear energy as an economic 'growth engine' derive from the impacts of nuclear sector activity on the overall functioning of a nation's economy. To adequately assess these impacts, it is necessary to go beyond conventional monetary-based measures of growth, focusing attention on the 'real economy' in terms of successive physical investment cycles. The principles of 'real economy' are examined in depth, with emphasis on the significance of power density as a correlate of overall productivity, on the economic function of basic infrastructure and the crucial role of scientific and technological revolutions. The indirect economic benefits of high-technology investment programs are examined, with the US Apollo project as an exemplary case. In the context of a coming 'Second Electrification' of the world economy, large-scale investment into advanced forms of nuclear energy constitutes a uniquely effective means to secure global development and prosperity for the coming decades. The success of such a policy depends, however, on generating a sense of participation of the general population in the work of the nuclear sector.