Advertisement

Plutonium

How Nuclear Power’s Dream Fuel Became a Nightmare

  • Frank von Hippel
  • Masafumi Takubo
  • Jungmin Kang

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
    Pages 1-12
  3. The Dream

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-14
    2. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 15-24
  4. The Nightmares

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-26
    2. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 27-49
    3. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 51-80
  5. The Path Forward

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 101-122
    3. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 123-140
    4. Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, Jungmin Kang
      Pages 141-154
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 155-177

About this book

Introduction

This book provides a readable and thought-provoking analysis of the issues surrounding nuclear fuel reprocessing and fast-neutron reactors, including discussion of resources, economics, radiological risk and resistance to nuclear proliferation. It describes the history and science behind reprocessing, and gives an overview of the status of reprocessing programmes around the world. It concludes that such programs should be discontinued.

While nuclear power is seen by many as the only realistic solution to the carbon emission problem, some national nuclear establishments have been pursuing development and deployment of sodium-cooled plutonium breeder reactors, and plutonium recycling. Its proponents argue that this system would offer significant advantages relative to current light water reactor technology in terms of greater uranium utilization efficiency, and that separating out the long-lived plutonium and other transuranics from spent fuel and fissioning them in fast reactors would greatly reduce the duration of the toxicity of radioactive waste. However, the history of efforts to deploy this system commercially in a number of countries over the last six decades has been one of economic and technical failure and, in some cases, was used to mask clandestine nuclear weapon development programs.

Covering topics of significant public interest including nuclear safety, fuel storage, environmental impact and the spectre of nuclear terrorism, this book presents a comprehensive analysis of the issue for nuclear engineers, policy analysts, government officials and the general public. 

Keywords

sodium-cooled fast-neutron reactors plutonium recycle radioactive waste management uranium deposits nuclear waste reprocessing uranium utilization efficiency radioactive waste management nuclear weapon development programs

Authors and affiliations

  • Frank von Hippel
    • 1
  • Masafumi Takubo
    • 2
  • Jungmin Kang
    • 3
  1. 1.Program on Science and Global SecurityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Koshigaya, Saitama PrefectureJapan
  3. 3.McLeanUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-9901-5
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-981-13-9900-8
  • Online ISBN 978-981-13-9901-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site