Category Archives: The Future of Nuclear Power

Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor

The lead-cooled fast reactor (LCFR) is another Gen IV-B system (Sinco, 2003). It utilises lead or lead — bismuth eutectic cooling in a fast spectrum system with the attributes of full actinide recycle fuel cycle and efficient conversion of fertile uranium (Overview of Generation IV Roadmap). It offers the prospect of a very long core life up to around 30 […]

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Molten Salt Reactor

The molten salt reactor (MSR) is another Generation IV technology. It offers a full actinide recycle within an epithermal spectrum reactor system (Overview of Generation IV Roadmap). It is envisaged as a large-scale plant of the order of 1000 MWe operating with a high outlet temperature with therefore good thermal efficiency. It is a flexible system offering efficient utilisation of […]

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The fusion reactor is still on the horizon for long-term energy generation. It is difficult to forecast the timescales for the development of the technology as a commercial power source. The UK Energy White Paper anticipates that nuclear fusion will be at an advanced stage of research and development by 2020 (Energy White Paper, 2003). Other commentators believe the reactor […]

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Even without the building of new nuclear plants, IAEA projections indicate that global nuclear generation will continue at least at the present level or higher, until around 2020. Large decreases in Western Europe and to a lesser extent in the US will be compensated by significant increases in the Far East and to a lesser extent in Eastern Europe.

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Operational Limits

There are many reactors in operation over the age of 25 years, relative to typical licensed operation of 30-40 years (IAEA-TECDOC-1084, 1999; Figure 2.6). Without extension of life there would need to be significant investment to replacing generating capacity by new plant (nuclear or non-nuclear). This is the situation in many countries in Western and Eastern Europe, in the Russian […]

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