Nuclear Energy Strategies

  • Wolf Häfele


The topic of this lecture is Nuclear Energy; the idea is not to go into the details of nuclear physics or engineering but to try to understand the potential of nuclear energy against the anticipated demand lying between 22 and 35 TWyr/yr by the year 2030, as compared with 8 TWyr/yr in 1975. The main attraction of nuclear energy is of course the factor of 3 × 106 which expresses the ratio of the energy released through fission of one gram of fissionable material to the energy released through combustion of one gram of fossil fuel. I must emphasize here that this huge factor of 3 × 106 cannot simply be understood as a quantitative change; such a factor also catalyses qualitative changes and brings to the fore new opportunities as well as new problems. As for the latter, it has been pointed out repeatedly that a nuclear war would be disastrous if not the end for civilization on this globe. It has been pointed out that waste disposal and radiating isotopes pose dangers that are qualitatively different from the past. So the negative side of the nuclear energy option has been elaborated, I would say, over and over again, and, for the moment, I am not taking issue with these claims. What I would like to do is to put it into perspective by looking at the positive implications of the factor of 3 × 106.


International Atomic Energy Agency Fuel Cycle Natural Uranium Light Water Reactor Fast Breeder Reactor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    ‘Energy in a Finite World, A Global Systems Analysis’. Report by the Energy Systems Program Group of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Wolf Häfele, Program Leader, Ballinger Publishing Co., Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. (1981).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    International Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE), Working Group I on Availability of Nuclear Fuel and Heavy Water, Final Report, Draft, INFCE/W6.1/17, Vienna, Austria (1979).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J.A. Lane et al., Nuclear Power in Developing Countries, in: ‘Proceedings of the International Conference on Nuclear Power and Its Fuel Cycle’, IAEA — cN — 36/500, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria (1977).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    World Energy Conference (WEC), ‘World Energy Resources, 1985–2020’, I.P.C. Press, Guildford, United Kingdom (1978).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A.M. Perry, World Uranium Resources, WP-79–64, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria (1979).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolf Häfele
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisIIASALaxenburgAustria

Personalised recommendations