Global energy demand is likely to rise substantially by the mid-21st century. At the same time, the use of fossil fuels may need to be severely curtailed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is one of the few options that meet these conflicting requirements. However, its potential to do so is an issue of wide disagreement and high emotions, with balanced information hard to find. This text, the culmination of a two-year study, provides a dispassionate and objective assessment of the major disputes on the future role of this controversial fuel. Decisionmakers and their advisers, as well as proponents and opponents of the fuel, should find that this book provides clarification of the main issues influencing the future of nuclear energy: relative economics, public perceptions and the process of decisionmaking, nuclear research and development, waste management, reprocessing and proliferation, nuclear safety and nuclear power and the Kyoto Protocol. In the light of the many uncertainties in the field of energy, the relevance of these issues can only continue to grow.
'A thorough, thought-provoking and very readable book.' Energy World 'This book, from the Royal Institute of International Affairs, assesss the prospects and dangers of reviving the nuclear industry.' Petroleum Review 'Nuclear power is firmly back on the agenda in many countries, but the debate around its future remains both polarised and emotive. Dispassionate information is hard to come by. This book attempts to - and succeeds in - filling that gap.' Energy World ' A detailed assessment of the prospects and risks of reviving the nuclear industry.' Long Range Planning
List of Figures and Tables * Acknowledgements * About the Authors * Setting the Scene * Public Perceptions and Decision-making in Civil Nuclear Energy * The Relative Economics of Nuclear Power * Radioactive Waste Management, Reprocessing and Proliferation * Nuclear Safety * Nuclear Energy Research, Development and Commercialization * Nuclear Power and the Kyoto Protocol * Recommendations and Conclusions * Glossary