Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century

1st Edition

World Nuclear University Press

Authors: Ian Hore-Lacy
Print ISBN: 9780123736222
eBook ISBN: 9780080497532
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 8th September 2006
Page Count: 168
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The onset of the 21st century has coincided with mounting scientific evidence of the severe environmental impact of global energy consumption. In response, governments and environmentalists on every continent have begun to re-evaluate the benefits of nuclear power as a clean, non-emitting energy resource. Today nuclear power plants operate in some 30 countries, and nuclear energy has become a safe and reliable source of one-sixth of the world’s electricity. This base has the potential to be expanded widely as part of a worldwide clean-energy revolution.

Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century is an authoritative resource for educators, students, policy-makers and interested lay-people. This balanced and accessible text provides:

  • An inroad into nuclear science for the non-specialist
  • A valuable account of many aspects of nuclear technology, including industry applications
  • Answers to public concerns about safety, proliferation, and waste management
  • Up-to-date data and references

This edition comes with a Foreword by Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, which attests to today’s worldwide re-evaluation of nuclear power.

The World Nuclear University (WNU) is a global partnership of industry, inter-governmental, and academic institutions committed to enhancing education in nuclear science and technology. WNU partners include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the OECD, and the World Nuclear Association (WNA). With a secretariat staffed by government-sponsored secondees, the London-based WNU Coordinating Centre fosters a diversity of collaborative projects to strengthen nuclear education and rebuild future leadership in nuclear science and technology.

Key Features

· Global in perspective and rich in data · Draws on the intellectual resources of the World Nuclear Association · Includes Physics of uranium; uranium enrichment; waste management · Provides technical perspective with an understanding of environmental issues


Nuclear engineers Plant designers and radiation physicists Physics, engineering, safety and environmental studies undergraduates

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr Patrick Moore Introduction Energy use 1.1 Sources of energy 1.2 Sustainability of energy 1.3 Energy demand 1.4 Energy supply 1.5 Changes in energy demand and supply 1.6 Future energy demand and supply Electricity today and tomorrow 2.1 Electricity demand 2.2 Electricity supply 2.3 Fuels for electricity generation today 2.4 Provision for future base-load electricity 2.5 Renewable energy sources 2.6 Coal and uranium compared 2.7 Energy inputs to nuclear electricity 2.8 Economic factors Nuclear power 3.1 Mass to energy in the reactor core 3.2 Nuclear power reactors 3.3 Uranium availability 3.4 Nuclear weapons as a source of fuel 3.5 Thorium as a nuclear fuel 3.6 Accelerator-driven systems 3.7 Physics of a nuclear reactor The “front end” of the nuclear fuel cycle 4.1 Mining and milling of uranium ore 4.2 The nuclear fuel cycle Box: Uranium enrichment 4.3 Advanced reactors 4.4 High temperature gas-cooled reactors 4.5 Fast neutron reactors 4.6 Very small nuclear power plants 4.7 Thorium cycle The “back end” of the nuclear fuel cycle 5.1 Nuclear “wastes” 5.2 Reprocessing used fuel 5.3 High-level wastes from reprocessing Box: Transporting radioactive materials 2 1 title pages.qxp 22/06/2006 13:39 Page 2 3 5.4 Storage and disposal of used fuel as “waste” 5.5 Disposal of solidified wastes 5.6 Decommissioning reactors Other nuclear energy applications 6.1 Hydroge


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© Academic Press 2007
Academic Press
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About the Author

Ian Hore-Lacy

Affiliations and Expertise

Director of Public Communications World Nuclear Association, London


“Ian Hore-Lacy guides the reader expertly through the many complexities of nuclear energy. This is an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to distinguish fact from myth and to gain understanding in this crucial field.” – Hans Blix, Chancellor, World Nuclear University, and Director General-Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency