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Conference papers

The future of nuclear energy

Abstract : The coming century may see the end of standard fossil fuels, which represent today 75% of the world energy production and the climate change induced by their greenhouse gas releases. In this context, nuclear power appears as the only energy source available today, able to respond significantly to the growing world energy demand. Present reactors are based on the fission of U-235 which represents only 0,7% of natural uranium. In a scenario of significant growing of nuclear energy, uranium reserves would be consumed in a few decades. Moreover, the waste production associated with these standards technologies should limit their deployment. It appears clearly today, that innovative technologies such as: GEN IV, thorium fuelled and accelerator-driven reactors have to be explored, in order to reduce considerably the ore consumption and the associated waste production. We will present the links between the management of minor actinides, the need for electricity at the global scale and the start up of GEN IV reactors. Innovative reactors and fuel management facilities can only be built within a very clear legal frame defining the policy regarding safety, dismantlement, waste management, and proliferation. Thus, not only the contributions of nuclear physicists to the efforts of innovative reactor design, but also the importance of public acceptance and the weight of political choices will be pointed out.
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Emmanuelle Vernay <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 12:41:30 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 3:28:03 PM


  • HAL Id : in2p3-00369080, version 1




A. Bidaud, S. David, O. Méplan. The future of nuclear energy. European Nuclear Physics Conference, Mar 2009, Bochum, Germany. ⟨in2p3-00369080⟩



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