Chapter 6:
Nuclear Power

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Each of the technologies discussed in this book deserves at least one book in its own right. This comment is particularly true with regard to nuclear power. This is a highly technical topic with a wide range of proposed technologies. It is also an emotional issue for many people.


Regardless of emotional issues, nuclear power offers a number of objective benefits.


1. It is always “on” — it does not suffer the intermittency drawbacks of solar and wind power.

2. It is “energy dense” — the space needed for a nuclear reactor is much less than what is needed for solar and wind.

3. It exists. Many of the technologies discussed in this book are at the concept or commercialization stage. Nuclear power is already a major contributor to the overall energy mix.

4. Many of the safety and environmental concerns associated with existing reactors have been resolved in next generation technology.




Risk and Nuclear Safety
Four Generations of Technology

Negative Learning Curve

Gen II

Reactor Types

Negative Learning Curve


Gen III  
Gen IV

Molten Salt Reactors

Small Modular Reactors

Nuclear / Renewables

Nuclear Fusion


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