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Electric generating prospects for nuclear power

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1 Author(s)
Benedict, Manson ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Most of the nuclear power plants in the U.S. today are of the light-water variety. In many parts of the U.S. these plants are competitive with plants burning coal, but the electricity that they generate will be more costly in the future as uranium supplies deplete. A promising possible answer to the cost problem is the fast-neutron reactor, which produces more fuel than it consumes. Such a plant should also be a more efficient generator of electricity and this should produce less thermal pollution than a water-reactor plant. However, it takes time to breed the fuel to make these fast reactors possible, and until more is known about the performance of such reactors, final judgment about their economic feasibility must continue to be held in abeyance.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 7 )