Second Nuclear Era
Second Nuclear Era The Institute for Energy Analysis with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has studied the decline of the present nuclear era in the United States and the characteristics of a Second Nuclear Era which might be instrumental in restoring nuclear power to an appropriate place in the energy options of our country. The study has determined that reactors operating today are much safer than they were at the time of the TMI accident. A number of concepts for a supersafe reactor were reviewed and at least two were found that show considerable promise, the PIUS, a Swedish pressurized water design, and a gas-cooled modular design of German and US origin. Although new, safer, incrementally improved, conventional reactors are under study by the nuclear industry, the complete lack of new orders in the United States will slow their introduction and they are likely to be more expensive than present designs. The study recommends that supersafe reactors be taken seriously and that federal and private funds both be used to design and, if feasible, to build a prototype reactor of substantial size. 146 references, 8 figures, 2 tables.
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