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Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century,
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.
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 Hydrogen for transport 6.2 Desalination 6.3 Marine propulsion 6.4 Space 6.5 Research reactors for radioisotopes Environment, health and safety issues 7.1 Greenhouse gas emissions 7.2 Other environmental effects 7.3 Health and environmental effects 7.4 Radiation 7.5 Reactor safety Avoiding weapons???proliferation 8.1 International cooperation 8.2 International nuclear safeguards 8.3 Fissile materials 8.4 Recycling military uranium and plutonium for electricity 8.5 Australian and Canadian nuclear safeguards policies History of nuclear energy 9.1 Exploring the nature of the atom 9.2 Harnessing nuclear fission 9.3 Nuclear physics in Russia 9.4 Conceiving the atomic bomb 9.5 Developing the concepts 9.6 The Manhattan Project 9.7 The Soviet bomb 9.8 Revival of the “nuclear boiler???9.9 Nuclear energy goes commercial 9.10 The nuclear power brown-out 9.11 Nuclear renaissance Appendices 1. Ionizing radiation and how it is measured 2. Some radioactive decay series 3. Environmental and ethical aspects of radioactive waste management 4. Some useful references Glossary Index