Keywords: nuclear power, nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, global warming, electrical energy supply, nuclear proliferation, fast reactors, integral fast reactor, IFR, nuclear fuel reprocessing, sustainable nuclear energy
The promise of nuclear power
The promise of nuclear power for the future is bright. Solutions have been worked out for the safe storage of nuclear waste. Environmentalists are reconsidering their opposition to nuclear power. Nuclear is economically competitive with fossil systems for electricity generation. Fast breeder reactors reduce the decay time for spent fuel from 250,000 years to 500, make better use of uranium resources, eliminate excess plutonium and make its diversion to weapons production impossible. Nuclear power does not contribute to global warming. Improvements in plant operations have provided more power from existing plants and extension of operating licences to 60 years will further increase the production of electricity. Designs of advanced reactors are being developed that are safer and more efficient and can be adapted to generate hydrogen and desalinate water. Electric utilities worldwide are seriously considering building more nuclear plants. Thus, the outlook for nuclear power in the 21st century is bright.