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Nuclear Energy Systems

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Abstract

This chapter describes the basic processes of present and potential future nuclear power generation technologies. A brief outline of the historical development of nuclear power in the last century is first presented, followed by a short introduction to the nuclear physics needed to understand the fission process and the working principle of nuclear reactors. Later, the costs related to investments, operation, resources, storage and decommisioning of reactors are examined. Finally, a discussion on possible new nuclear technologies is provided at the end of this chapter.

Keywords

  • Fission
  • Fusion
  • New nuclear technologies

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-08225-7_3
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Notes

  1. 1.

    A referendum in Sweden in 1980 resulted in a parlamental decision to close down all reactors before 2010. Only one reactor, at Barsebäck, has been shut down. The remaining reactors covers today about 45 % of Swedens electricity consumption.

  2. 2.

    Increased antropogenic CO\(_2\) emissions will remain in the atmosphere for a few thousand years before it is reabsorbed by the ocean and living plants.

  3. 3.

    Assuming a normal capacity factor for nuclear reactors of 85 %, Japan should have generated around 330 TWh of electricity from its 50 reactors.

  4. 4.

    Weapons-grade material can be diluted with a factor 25:1 given the high quality of the material.

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Correspondence to Patrick A. Narbel .

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© 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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Narbel, P.A., Hansen, J.P., Lien, J.R. (2014). Nuclear Energy Systems. In: Energy Technologies and Economics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08225-7_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08225-7_3

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-08224-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-08225-7

  • eBook Packages: EnergyEnergy (R0)