Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Long-Term Ideal Versus Short-Term Reality

| May 6, 2015

"Baldev Raj and P.R. Vasudeva Rao have argued that reprocessing and fast breeder reactors are necessary for the long-term sustainability of nuclear power. Indeed, fast breeder reactors' potential to produce more fuel than they consume has held an attraction since the advent of nuclear power, especially to those who envision a time when uranium will no longer be available cheaply. Unfortunately, several decades of experience have shown that plutonium recycling systems are much more costly and much less reliable than water-cooled reactors. If establishing sustainable nuclear power means successfully managing important issues such as nuclear safety and proliferation resistance, while also achieving economic competitiveness, minimizing production of radioactive waste, and using natural resources wisely, breeder reactors and plutonium recycling still have far to go before they can meaningfully contribute..."

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For Academic Citation: Zhang, Hui.“Long-Term Ideal Versus Short-Term Reality.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 6, 2015.