Keywords: nuclear energy production, nuclear power, energy demands, sustainability, Generation IV, fissile resources, fertile resources, thorium fuel cycle, molten salt reactors, fast neutron reactors, deployment scenarios
Scenarios for a worldwide deployment of nuclear power
The growing worldwide demand for energy must be controlled. However, even in the event of voluntary policies to dampen energy demand, it is hard to imagine that the demand could be less than twice as much as today's by 2050. We feel it is necessary to satisfy this demand. It is obvious also that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced in order to limit the severe consequences that they entail. An energy shortage could develop if new sources of large-scale energy production are not established. A significant contribution of nuclear power to such energy production by 2050 rests on a well-coordinated and optimised deployment scheme (Loiseaux et al., 2004; The Future of Nuclear Power, 2003). This requires, as early as today, a reflection on the present status of nuclear power, on its extrapolation into the future and, thus, on the means that should be put to work and the transition possibilities.