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Nuclear power for clean, safe and secure energy independence

Marvin Baker Schaffer (Adjunct Staff at the Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California, USA)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 23 October 2007




The purpose of this paper is to review technologies for nuclear power and to assess their suitability in pursuit of clean, safe and secure energy independence.


Technologies and potentials associated with the industry standard, light water reactors (LWR), as well as fast breeder reactors and TRISO‐fueled reactors, are reviewed. The key features and issues include: waste disposal and toxicity, heat pollution, vulnerability to terrorist attack, proliferation of weapon materials, global fuel depletion, safety, and cost.


The paper finds that, on balance, TRISO‐fueled reactors with helium as coolant offer solutions to the issues causing public nuclear concerns, and since they have significant cost benefits they should be the design of choice for new installations.


Nuclear power can make a contribution to rising energy demands but raise many concerns. This paper considers the principal types of nuclear reactors and analyzes them for their potential to address those important public concerns.



Baker Schaffer, M. (2007), "Nuclear power for clean, safe and secure energy independence", Foresight, Vol. 9 No. 6, pp. 47-60.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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