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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 5 Nuclear Power Nuclear power could make a substantial contribution to the base-load electrical system of the United States in the intermediate term. Advanced converters or fission breeders could enlarge this contribution, and extend it many decades or thousands of years. Nevertheless, the expansion and further development of nuclear power face uncertainties and controversies. The demand for electricity is difficult to predict. The amount of uranium that will be available to fuel the present generation of reactors at economical prices is uncertain. The safety of nuclear reactors is a controversial topic. Policies for disposal of radioactive waste have not been developed, and delay in their development has heightened concern about the efficacy of proposed methods. The possibility that terrorists or other groups might divert nuclear materials is a matter of concern. The degree of protection that can be achieved against diversion has been discussed and argued without resolution. The contribution nuclear power might make to increasing or decreasing the risks of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear war is controversial, and the obvious importance of this issue makes it a matter of urgent concern.* * See statement 5–1, by E.J.Gornowski, Appendix A.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems These and related issues are addressed in this chapter. We first present a summary statement and principal conclusions. The balance of the chapter takes up these items in detail.† SUMMARY Nuclear power contributes to diversity in the sources of energy on which the United States can draw. In 1978, 66 light water reactors (LWR’s) supplied close to 13 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. In some regions of the country, the share of electricity generated by nuclear power exceeded 40 percent. The distribution of nuclear plants is illustrated in Figure 5–1. The generating capacity of nuclear power plants totals 52 gigawatts (electric) (GWe).1 Of the energy sources that can be used to generate large amounts of electricity, only coal and nuclear power offer reasonably assured ability to support significant expansion in electrical generating capacity over the next few decades. The costs of electricity produced from coal and nuclear power are roughly comparable and depend on plant location and financing conditions. Nevertheless, new orders for nuclear power plants were offset by cancellations of previous orders the past 3 years, and this will create a pause in the expansion of nuclear capacity after 1985 unless the licensing of nuclear plants is accelerated and their construction time reduced. The nuclear industry in the United States can produce at least 500 GWe of nuclear generating capacity for installation by the year 2000, and more than 750 GWe by 2010. The actual rate at which this capability will be called upon depends on several factors. First, there is the question what the demand for electricity will be. The Supply and Delivery Panel evaluated a number of projections and concluded that an annual average growth rate of 4 percent to the year 2010 represents a reasonable figure for planning the growth of electrical capacity.2 This would lead to a total demand for just under 2000 GWe of capacity in 2010, if the total system’s capacity factor is unchanged. In the scenario of highest energy consumption considered by CONAES (assuming constant real prices and 3 percent annual average rate of growth in gross national product (GNP)), the required electrical capacity falls below 1500 GWe in 2010. Assuming a higher rate of electrification, the required capacity might be about 1750 GWe in 2010. (See chapter 11.) Although these projected rates fall below the historical rate of growth, they may still † See statement 5–2, by E.J.Gornowski, Appendix A.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems FIGURE 5–1 Nuclear power plants in the United States as of January 1, 1979. Source: Atomic Industrial Forum, Electricity from Nuclear Power (Washington, D.C.: Atomic Industrial Forum, 1979). be unrealistically high. Models constructed for the CONAES study project lower and declining rates of growth in GNP than the rates experienced in the past.3 The CONAES models have also explored the effects of higher and increasing prices for energy, or equivalent policies. These assumptions lead to scenarios in which the demand for electricity ranges from below present values to just under 3 times present values (2.8 times) by 2010.4 Correspondingly, utility capacity would be between about 400 and 1450 GWe of installed central station power (1978 capacity was 560 GWe). These estimates assume that the fraction of total energy demand satisfied
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems by electrical end-use remains constant.* In the past, electricity has tended to displace the direct use of fuels at the point of consumption, and the fraction of total energy demand met by electricity has increased. How much of this demand for electricity will be met by nuclear power is also uncertain. Nuclear power has a slight economic advantage over coal. This advantage has good prospects for enhancement, but also has some chance of reversal. Prudent utility planners are likely to plan mixed systems of nuclear power and coal, given these contingencies, but the proportion of each can only be guessed. In addition to cost, planners must also consider the reliability of supply, the stability of regulatory requirements, and prospective public policy. Some considerations will favor nuclear power, others, coal. A major reservation against too great a reliance on nuclear power may arise from uncertain availability of natural uranium, the primary resource for nuclear fuel. The Uranium Resource Group of this study5 concluded in 1977 that not more than 1.8 million tons of minable domestic uranium oxide (U3O8) reserves and probable resources should be considered as a basis for prudent planning. CONAES has revised its own figure to 2.4 million tons, reflecting higher estimates recently published by the U.S. Department of Energy. (Table 5–1, under the section “Availability of Uranium,” sets out the pertinent estimates.) Translating these figures into nuclear power capacity, 2.4 million tons of U3O8 would meet the lifetime fueling requirements of about 400 GWe of installed capacity, assuming the continued use of light water reactors on once-through fuel cycles. The total nuclear capacity in operation, under construction, or planned in the United States in 1979 amounts to 193 GWe.6 According to the Supply and Delivery Panel, the uranium production rates required to reach installed nuclear capacities much above 200 GWe by 2010 would demand a national commitment to uranium resource exploration and extraction.7 Further expansion and continuation of nuclear power could be accommodated if fuel reprocessing were permitted. The industrial position is that expansion much beyond current commitments would not be undertaken unless the durability of nuclear power were confirmed by commitment to a breeder reactor (or to equivalent fuel production systems, such as accelerator breeders, or fusion-fission devices).† Without firm plans for reactor designs to follow light water reactors, or for fuel reprocessing and recycle, nuclear capacity would have to be gradually phased out as reactors were retired, beginning early in the twenty-first century. However, if (as some resource economists believe) considerably more uranium is found as the price rises, then nuclear capacity could be * See statement 5–3, by L.F.Lischer, Appendix A. † Statement 5–4, by E.J.Gornowski: It is unlikely that there is unanimous opinion that no new LWR’s would be built if the breeder were forever excluded.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems expanded even if the introduction of new reactors and fuel cycles were to be postponed. Some expansion of light water reactor capacity (with a once-through fuel cycle) could also be achieved by reconfiguring the light water reactor to minimize U3O8 consumption, and also by lowering enrichment tails to 0.1 percent or less (see “Uranium Enrichment”). This might raise the allowable capacity in the year 2000 for the same resource base by nearly 25 percent, to 500 GWe. Another possibility for a more durable industry is to switch from the present generation of light water reactors on the once-through cycle (no reprocessing or other reuse of spent fuel) to reactors and nuclear fuel cycles that make more efficient use of uranium. Under present conditions, only about 0.6 percent of the fission energy potentially available is used. The fission of uranium-235 (235U) contributes 0.4 percent, and the fission of plutonium-239 (239Pu) created in the reactor contributes 0.2 percent. If the spent fuel removed from the reactor were reprocessed, and the 235U and 239Pu recycled in fuel, the use of uranium could be raised to 0.9 or 1 percent. Such reactor types as the Canadian CANDU or advanced high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR’s) could be designed and operated to use up to 2.0 percent of the energy embodied in uranium on a once-through cycle. Combining lower enrichment tails and the possible stripping of existing accumulated tails with the use of the enriched CANDU once-through cycle might further increase the capacity that could be safely committed by 2000, perhaps to more than 525 GWe. By loading uranium and plutonium into breeder reactors, and recycling the load many times through similar reactors after reprocessing, it is possible to recover perhaps 70 percent of the energy in the original uranium ore—an improvement in energy recovery by about a factor of 100 over light water reactors. This possibility not only multiplies the energy from existing resources (including existing enrichment plant tails), but permits economic recovery of energy from much less concentrated and more widely distributed uranium ores, essentially making uranium a potential source of energy for hundreds of thousands of years. In addition to recovering a large fraction of the energy in 238U, it is possible to recover the energy in another element, thorium, that is probably 4 times more abundant in the earth’s crust than uranium. The single isotope of thorium, thorium-232 (232Th), can be converted to another fissile isotope of uranium, 233U, in nuclear reactors. Various combinations of thorium-uranium and uranium-plutonium fuel cycles can greatly multiply energy resources. Making more efficient use of nuclear fuel resources depends on using new designs for reactors and operating these reactors in combination with fuel reprocessing.8 These reactor designs may be divided into two classes:
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems advanced converters designed for the use of thermal neutrons and generally operating on the thorium cycle, and fast breeders designed for the use of fast neutrons that can generate more plutonium from 238U than they consume in generating power. Breeders can also generate 233U from thorium. Advanced converters using thorium and 233U can be designed to function as thermal breeders. With sufficiently careful design and frequent fuel reprocessing, they can operate without additional fissile isotopes from nature. However, these conditions are not likely to yield economical power generation.9 The breeder design closest to commercial status in the United States and elsewhere is the liquid-metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR). In the most resource-efficient version, this reactor would be fueled with plutonium separated from the spent fuel of light water reactors and with depleted uranium left behind in the enrichment process for today’s light water reactor fuel. The energy available from uranium already mined and stored as depleted tails from domestic enrichment plants, if used in LMFBR’s, could provide one third to one half of the energy recoverable from domestic coal reserves and resources. Advanced converters can also extend resources, but unless they are fueled with plutonium from the spent fuel of light water reactors, their operation will require some additional uranium feed. The amount of this required feed can be minimized by frequent reprocessing and by features in the converter designed to hold down the loss of neutrons to fission products, control rods, and structural materials. The advanced converter most widely used in the world is the natural-uranium, heavy water CANDU, developed in Canada. The advanced converters closest to commercial status in the United States are the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor and the light water breeder reactor (LWBR). They both use the thorium-uranium cycle with enriched 235U feed. Both require more uranium for their initial inventories of fuel than light water reactors.10 This uranium requirement can be reduced somewhat by mixing in plutonium from reprocessed light water reactor fuel. Advanced converters require far less uranium ore over their operating lives than light water reactors. The thorium-233U fuel cycle can be used to greatest advantage in thermal advanced converters, and the uranium-plutonium fuel cycle can be used to greatest advantage in fast breeders. This suggests the possibility of using various integrated fuel cycles: combinations of fast breeders, advanced converters, and light water reactors. These technical possibilities are unlikely to be realized unless nuclear power is publicly acceptable. Public opinion may show swings and trends in the future, as it has in the past. Public concern about nuclear power has centered on four issues: the safety of routine operation of the nuclear fuel
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems cycle and of reactors; the possibility and effects of major nuclear accidents; the handling of radioactive wastes; and the production of nuclear bombs by nations or subnational groups using fissile materials obtained from nuclear-powered facilities. At all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, some radioactivity is released to the environment. The largest burden from these releases has come from the underground mining of uranium and from the milling process by which uranium is concentrated from its ores. The hazards of uranium mining have been estimated as resulting in about 15 deaths per year per 10,000 miners. The radioactivity in the mine increases the hazard of cancer, although the risk of accidental fatality in mining accidents is higher than the increased cancer risk.11 Per miner-year, the hazards of uranium mining are comparable to those of coal mining, but because the same energy is recoverable from only about 1 percent as much material, the mortality of uranium mining is, per unit of power, far less serious than that of coal mining. (See chapter 9.) Additional radioactive emissions come from the mill tailings—the residues from the uranium concentration process—which contain over 80 percent of the ore’s original radioactivity. Past practices have been careless, resulting in exposure of the tailings to weathering, which releases some of the radioactivity to the environment, and in their incorporation into concrete and landfill for homes and schools, in extreme cases. Although the total morbidity from such handling has been quite small, these consequences have cast doubt on the seriousness with which the industry and the responsible federal agencies approach the job of protecting the public.* Other routine sources of emission are the releases permitted from nuclear power plants (within set limits) of materials that have become radioactive, and potential releases of radioactive gases (such as krypton-85 (85Kr), tritium, and carbon-14 dioxide) from reprocessing plants. All these “normal” or routine releases of radioactivity are estimated to increase environmental radiation by a small fraction of the existing background, and on this basis, their effects per unit of power generated are small compared to the mining risks, or to the risks of other energy sources.† More controversial is the possibility of reactor accidents. Much of the controversy has focused on the validity of risk assessments made in the Reactor Safety Study for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (also known as the Rasmussen Report or WASH-1400). This report attempted to * See statement 5–5, by E.J.Gornowski, Appendix A. † Statement 5–6, by J.P.Holdren: The statement is too sweeping. NAS estimates prepared for CONAES imply 0.5–2.0 excess cancer deaths per GWe-year from routine exposures and emissions, excluding tailings.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems estimate the probability (per reactor-year of operation) that accidents of varying severity would occur.12 Its stated findings are that the actuarial risks (sums of the probabilities of consequences multiplied by the severity of consequences) are very small, and that the chances of severe accidents that would cause large numbers of casualties are extremely small—so small as to be within the range of risks we hardly deign to consider. Nevertheless, these findings have been challenged on several grounds: that the statistical treatment is in some respects incorrect and in others misleadingly presented; that casualty figures for the most severe types of accidents are underestimated; and that accident frequencies may have been overestimated (industry analysts typically arguing the latter, and nuclear critics, the former).13 The Risk and Impact Panel of this study examined the controversy, but could not reach more than qualitative conclusions. These conclusions are, briefly, that the statistical inferences of the report should be corrected upward, owing to the report’s use of medians rather than means of certain probability distributions where the correct procedure would have been to use the mean values, and that in addition to this upward correction in the “best estimate” of the accident risk, the counterclaims of optimism and pessimism for accident frequencies and consequences ought at least to be interpreted as indicating that the uncertainties accompanying both probabilities and consequences are greater than the uncertainty factors stated in WASH-1400. We would estimate higher average risks than WASH-1400—not so high as to be alarming, but with sufficient uncertainty that there remain legitimate grounds for controversy whether the risk of reactor accidents ought to be an important consideration in decisions about nuclear power. Thus on safety grounds alone, the expansion of nuclear power would be acceptable,* provided the rate of expansion were consistent with the rate of improvement of knowledge about accident risks, especially reductions in uncertainty. The reactor accident at Three Mile Island occurred after most of CONAES’s deliberations had been completed. That fact and the fact that several investigations of the accident are still in progress make it inappropriate for CONAES to discuss its implications at length, and impossible to do so with authority. The information so far released about the accident (and interpreted by nuclear specialists on the committee) seems consistent with CONAES’s cautious, positive findings on reactor safety. Another element of public concern is apprehension about the ability of * Statement 5–7, by J.P.Holdren: Decisions on what is “acceptable” are the business of the political process, not of this or any other NAS committee.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems institutions and industry to manage or dispose of radioactive wastes. The most acute concern is the fate of high-level wastes generated in reprocessing plants or contained in spent fuel, but the management or disposal of the much larger bulk of intermediate- and low-level waste generated throughout the nuclear industry also raises public apprehension. Most experts are of the opinion that no technological obstacles stand in the way of safe management of any of these wastes,14 but governmental inaction, changes of program and emphasis, and the lack of approved facilities are not reassuring. In the reprocessing and refabrication of fuel essential to making effective use of resources in advanced converters or breeders on either the thorium or the uranium fuel cycle, fissile material (either 233U or 239Pu) is separated from the spent fuel elements and is thus more readily subject to theft or illicit diversion than if it remained in the spent fuel elements. The appearance of pure plutonium or 233U in some stages of the fuel cycle presents the troubling possibility that weapons-usable material could be stolen by terrorists. Proposals have been advanced for reprocessing methods that avoid separation of plutonium in pure form. These schemes are given the generic name “coprocessing” when the plutonium is chemically mixed with its parent uranium throughout the cycle, and “Civex” when it is given the additional protection of retaining some highly radioactive fission products. Such processes are not now available and would require development. A graver possibility than illicit diversion is that countries installing reprocessing plants would thereby have the means to build up arsenals of nuclear weapons in short order. This concern is particularly acute for breeder reactors, which have little or no value without reprocessing, and it was this consideration that persuaded the Carter administration to defer both commercial reprocessing and commitment to the fast breeder. A possible advantage of the thorium-233U fuel cycle for fast breeders or advanced converters (it can be used in either) is that the 233U or 235U used to feed these reactors can be diluted with 238U in a 4:1 ratio (for 235U) or a 7:1 ratio (for 233U), making either undesirable as weapons material without physical isotope separation as well as chemical reprocessing. This is the “denatured” thorium cycle. The efficacy of denaturing is now the subject of extensive debate. It is being studied in the United States and will be studied further in the ongoing program of the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation (INFCE). In spite of the unsettled state of the reactor-safety issue following the Three Mile Island incident (which occurred late in the committee’s deliberations), the committee continued to regard proliferation and diversion as the most important—perhaps the overriding—issue in nuclear power. The degree to which the risks of national proliferation of nuclear
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems armaments or subnational diversion of material for nuclear weapons could be controlled was discussed at length. The problem was acute: Subjective estimates of the magnitude of these risks were balanced against equally subjective estimates of the benefits that nuclear power might provide in easing the world’s problems of energy supply. There was general agreement that the greatest threat of nuclear technology lies in existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapons material throughout the world. There was further agreement that to the extent that high enrichment of 235U and isolation of 233U and plutonium are needed for a civilian nuclear power industry, these steps of the fuel cycle should be conducted in secured plants, preferably under international control. However, some members of the committee believe that the economic importance of nuclear energy is not great enough to warrant accepting significantly increased risk of international proliferation or subnational use of nuclear weapons, and that such increased risk will attend the spread and growth of nuclear power if these should occur more rapidly than improvements can be made in existing safeguards and deterrents. Other members of the committee believe that the world’s energy problems already pose a greater long-term threat than does proliferation, and that the benefits of the rapid spread of nuclear power in alleviating these problems outweigh any plausible increase in the risks of proliferation and diversion.* Divergent opinions on what steps to take follow from these beliefs. Some argue that international solutions such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, safeguards (monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency), and strengthened controls on fuel cycles can only be effected if the United States is an active participant, a reliable supplier of nuclear materials and know-how. These are arguments for carrying forward, and very probably exploiting, the development of reprocessing and breeder reactors, since both increase our ability to provide nuclear fuel. Others argue that the current policy of the United States—staying the commercialization of reprocessing for the time being and limiting the development of breeders to technology-level studies—is essential as an example to others.† They maintain that this forbearance is necessary to avoid a situation in which countries that have legitimate domestic needs for major nuclear power enterprises are tempted to manufacture nuclear weapons. The argument is that the moral position of the United States is strengthened in international negotiations by what may be some self-sacrifice. * See statement 5–8, by E.J.Gornowski, Appendix A. † Statement 5–9, by E.J.Gornowski: The United States has lost this argument. Reprocessing is going ahead in other countries regardless of the U.S. position.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems The issues of diversion and proliferation make the future of reprocessing and the breeder reactor uncertain. As a consequence, the future of nuclear power beyond the point of resource scarcity is also uncertain. The undecided future of reprocessing adds to uncertainty about the form of waste that must ultimately be banished from the environment. The committee cannot resolve these uncertainties, but in the recommendations that follow, suggests ways they might be reduced by improving the reliability of information, by narrowing and clarifying areas of dispute, and by instituting interim programs that preserve flexibility of response in anticipation of better information. CONCLUSIONS The committee draws the following conclusions about technical factors that should be considered in formulating nuclear policy. The rate of growth in the use of electricity is a primary factor affecting the strategy of nuclear power development. Low rates of growth allow the electric utilities sufficient flexibility to regard coal and nuclear capacity as interchangeable to a considerable degree. This becomes increasingly difficult for higher electricity growth rates; rapid expansion of both coal and nuclear capacity would be required. The highest growth rates in electricity use examined by the committee call for technically achievable rates of expansion of both new coal and nuclear capacity that many members of the committee regard as incompatible with environmental and political restrictions. The growth of conventional nuclear power (today’s light water reactors) will be limited by the producibility of domestic uranium resources, probably before the year 2000. With today’s once-through fuel cycle and no change in the prevailing policy against reprocessing, a maximum nuclear capacity of about 400 GWe could be reached by 2000, diminishing thereafter. This contribution could be extended to about 600 GWe with reprocessing and recycle of fuel in light water reactors. A more complete assessment is needed of domestic and world uranium resources, and of the rate at which they can be produced at various costs. A greater, or more sustained, contribution of nuclear power beyond 400 GWe and past the year 2000 could only be supported by the installation of advanced reactor systems, particularly those using recycle of nuclear fuel. Even if very extensive new uranium resources are identified before 1990, advanced converters would still be attractive because they could extend the uranium energy base appreciably. Nevertheless, only the
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems WHAT SHOULD THE UNITED STATES DO? The policy options open to the United States in pursuit of nonproliferation can be organized for purposes of discussion in terms of the following hierarchy. Approaches seeking to reduce motivations toward proliferation, versus approaches dealing with the potentially proliferation-related characteristics of nuclear power itself. Among those approaches dealing with nuclear power, seeking increased resistance to proliferation in the characteristics of reactors and fuel cycles, versus developing management techniques and institutional arrangements for nuclear power that act against proliferation. Among the measures in the previous category, elements that are part of purely domestic policies on nuclear power, versus policies on U.S. exports of nuclear technologies, versus other kinds of policies intended to influence the behavior of other nations. Naturally, the elements in this hierarchy are not mutually exclusive. Many could be pursued at once. In the following subsections, we give brief attention to approaches seeking to reduce motivations, followed by more detailed treatment of proliferation-resistant management. Motivations Some of the reasonably obvious ways to try to reduce the motivations driving nations toward acquisition of nuclear weapons are the following. Maintaining, strengthening, or extending security guarantees provided by the United States to certain non-weapons states. Working to resolve or stabilize regional disputes. Reducing the prestige and symbolic importance of nuclear weapons in world politics, including working vigorously for reduction of the nuclear arsenals of the superpowers. Seeking to satisfy some of the economic and political ambitions of certain potential weapons states. While these approaches seem attractive in the perspective of nonproliferation, many of them have significant economic, military, and political costs. Investigation of these matters was well beyond the scope of this study. Proliferation-Resistant Management and Institutions It should be apparent from the preceding sections of this chapter that there is no technical
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems antidote to the possible use of nuclear power for the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We list here the major kinds of management measures and institutional changes that have received serious attention in the proliferation debate, emphasizing the role the United States could play. The following list moves from moderate to drastic measures. Ways to strengthen the NPT. Bilateral (U.S.-recipient country) agreements stronger than the NPT. International control of sensitive parts of the fuel cycle. Barriers to the spread of fission technology or to its evolution in particularly proliferation-prone directions. For each category, we consider the role of domestic policy, policy on nuclear exports, and other policies. In principle, the Non-Proliferation Treaty could be strengthened by the following: tightening the safeguards incorporated into agreements concluded under the treaty between the IAEA and non-weapons-state parties; funding more inspectors to enforce the safeguards; adding sanctions to be imposed on violators; bringing the behavior of weapons-state parties into line with the letter and spirit of the treaty. Some of these measures could be accomplished without rewriting the treaty, a tedious and risk-laden procedure. The United States could contribute expertise and money to achieve other measures, refuse expertise and materials to non-party nations, stop withholding assistance and materials from party nations, use its influence to encourage other supplier nations to do the same, and upgrade efforts to make real progress toward nuclear disarmament. A particularly dramatic—some think dangerous—measure in this last category would be to take unilateral steps to reduce the domestic stockpile of nuclear weapons. Modifying the treaty to add sanctions would probably be very difficult, and the likelihood that the United States would find the benefits worth the required political investment seems low. The United States could choose, in its own relations with recipient nations as a supplier, to reach safeguards agreements more stringent than those enforced under the treaty. One such possibility is to lease nuclear fuel to non-weapons states rather than selling it, requiring return of the fuel, when spent, for reprocessing or storage without reprocessing in this country. A recipient country could break such an agreement and reprocess a batch of fuel to extract the plutonium, but detection would be assured and it would only work once—perhaps a small consolation. Some domestic opposition to taking back spent fuel from other countries might be expected, on grounds that this would burden us with environmental liabilities from the energy use of other countries. Furthermore, as a
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems practical matter, the United States (despite positive statements by the Administration and members of Congress) has not acted on any plan to provide adequate spent-fuel storage—even for anticipated domestic needs. A politically much more difficult, but also more promising, approach to proliferation control is to place the most sensitive parts of the fuel cycle under international control, including enrichment plants, reprocessing plants, plants for the fabricating of plutonium fuel, and shipping links wherein plutonium flows unprotected by accompanying fission products. Breeder reactors using undenatured fuel would perhaps also come under international control. Colocation of many of these facilities in international fuel cycle centers would reduce the problem of surveillance. Dispersed reactors supplied with denatured fuel from these centers and returning their spent fuel to the centers could be under national control. The political and organizational problems connected with this degree of international cooperation are generally considered to be formidable obstacles. Nevertheless, it is possible that a really vigorous effort by the United States to muster support for the approach, also underway in the IAEA, could lead to several pilot examples. The most drastic category of measures the U.S. might entertain consists of erecting and maintaining barriers to the spread of fission technology and to its evolution in particularly proliferation-prone directions. For any or all of the sensitive technologies—enrichment plants, reprocessing plants, breeder reactors—the United States could refuse export, restrict their domestic use or development, and influence other supplier nations to do the same. Carrying this approach to its limit would require refusing to export reactors or fuel cycle facilities of any kind, and sharply limiting or phasing out domestic nuclear power in an attempt to force the world away from the nuclear option. Any approach in this category has the liability of undermining to some degree the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as discussed above. These approaches also open the United States to the accusation that this country is insensitive to the needs of countries poorer and less well endowed with energy alternatives than itself, and they run the risk of aggravating non-weapons states into developing unsafeguarded nuclear facilities. Proponents of the “barrier” approaches believe that the risk of aggravating others is one the United States must take, and that necessary accompaniments to the barriers are that the United States must supply a plausible substitute for what has been denied and also begin to exercise some real leadership in nuclear disarmament. The Administration’s proposal is to guarantee supply of enrichment services for converter reactors as a compensation for the denial of enrichment and reprocessing plants. Countries capable of developing plutonium recycle and marketing plutonium breeders are urged to defer
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems these steps. The United States would defer as an example. These proposals are seen by some nations as self-serving, inasmuch as they promote what the United States has to offer (enrichment services) while disparaging alternatives (reprocessing and breeders) being promoted by competitors in the world market. The offer to provide enrichment services is questioned on grounds of this country’s record on nuclear policy, and on grounds that the United States is doing little to stretch its own uranium supply. Certainly it is a liability of these proposals that non-weapons states are not likely to be much more inclined to rely on the United States for enriched uranium than they are to rely on OPEC for oil. This problem may diminish with the development of a strong international market in enrichment services, characterized by a number of independent suppliers. But critics who think the proposals too mild assert that continuing to export reactors themselves will encourage the owners to complete a measure of energy independence by seeking, as quickly as possible, domestic enrichment or reprocessing capacity, or both, and critics who think the proposals too severe believe that resentment of moralizing from the United States on these matters will diminish any influence we might have had in securing better international safeguards for the full range of nuclear facilities sure to be demanded almost everywhere. If the United States were to go further than the Administration’s proposals by trying to erect barriers against the spread of all nuclear technologies, it seems clear that, for consistency, domestic policy would have to phase out nuclear power, and foreign policy would have to assist other countries with a variety of alternative energy supplies. This assistance might well emphasize “income” energy sources available in particular abundance in some of the poorest regions. But the sorts of trades that would have to be considered in this situation would likely include diverting Alaskan oil and gas to Japan and exporting a good deal of coal mined in the United States. Many Americans might think this too high a price to pay. CONCLUSIONS The nature of the proliferation problem is such that even stopping nuclear power completely could not stop proliferation completely. Countries can acquire nuclear weapons by means independent of commercial nuclear power. It is reasonable to suppose if a country is strongly motivated to acquire nuclear weapons, it will have them by 2010, or soon thereafter, no matter how nuclear power is managed in the meantime. Unilateral and international diplomatic measures to reduce the motivations that lead to proliferation should be high on the foreign policy agenda of the United States. Nevertheless, the potential links between nuclear power and
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems proliferation of nuclear weapons must be taken seriously, both because the rate of proliferation may be increased by the availability of commercial nuclear power facilities, and because the “attractive nuisance” that indigenous stocks of weapons-usable material constitute may nudge some nations, not sufficiently motivated to develop a separate weapons program from scratch, to topple into weapons status. A minimum antiproliferation prescription for the management of nuclear power is to try to raise the political barriers against proliferation through misuse of nuclear power by strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to seek to raise the technological barriers by placing fuel cycle operations involving weapons-usable material under international control Any such measures should be considered tactics to slow the spread of nuclear weapons and thus earn time for the exercise of statesmanship. It is essential that statesmen use this earned time to find ways to end proliferation, to begin to shrink the weapons stockpiles, and to reduce the probability that nuclear weapons will ever again be used. The question remains whether measures more comprehensive and more disruptive of the nuclear enterprise are warranted by antiproliferation goals. Weighing the often counteracting political and technological considerations outlined in the body of this section, different members of the committee reach different answers. So many of the political factors, particularly, contain unpredictable elements, that no completely convincing analysis of the likely outcomes of given measures is possible. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that individuals with different perceptions of the likely future behavior of governments, of the incremental dangers of risk reduction associated with given technological changes, and of the likelihood and jeopardy of energy shortages, do not agree whether the United States should try to accelerate or decelerate the use and spread of nuclear power in general and breeder reactors in particular. We do agree that any proposed policy should recognize the possibility that it is based on wrong judgments, and accordingly, should incorporate escape routes—ways to pull back from a policy decision if evidence accumulates that the consequences run counter to its aims. NOTES 1. Atomic Industrial Forum, Electricity from Nuclear Power (Washington, D.C.: Atomic Industrial Forum, 1979), p. 1. 2. National Research Council, U.S. Energy Supply Prospects to 2010, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Supply and Delivery Panel (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1979), chap. 2.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 3. National Research Council, Alternative Energy Demand Futures to 2010, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Demand and Conservation Panel (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1979); and National Research Council, Supporting Paper 2: Energy Modeling for an Uncertain Future, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Synthesis Panel, Modeling Resource Group (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1978). 4. See chapter 11 for display and discussion of study scenarios. 5. National Research Council, Supporting Paper 1: Problems of U.S. Uranium Resources and Supply to the Year 2010, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Supply and Delivery Panel, Uranium Resource Group (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1978). 6. Atomic Industrial Forum, op. cit., p. 1. This figure includes some reactors not scheduled to operate until as late as 1995. 7. Supply and Delivery Panel, U.S. Energy Supply Prospects to 2010, op. cit., chap. 5. 8. Assuming that the available resource base is sufficient to provide initial fuel requirements. See, for example P.R. Kasten et al., Assessment of the Thorium Fuel Cycle in Power Reactors (Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL/TM-5565), January 1977), p. xi. 9. Ibid.; and Alfred M.Perry, “Thermal Breeders in Today’s Context” (Paper presented at the International Scientific Forum on an Acceptable Nuclear Energy Future of the World, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., November 7–11, 1977). 10. Kasten, op. cit.; and Perry, op. cit. 11. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Comparative Risk-Cost-Benefit Study of Alternative Sources of Electrical Energy (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, (WASH-1224), 1974); L.A.Sagan, “Human Costs of Nuclear Power,” Science 177 (August 1972): 487–493; E.E.Pochin, Estimated Population Exposure from Nuclear Power Production and Other Radiation Sources, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris, France: Nuclear Energy Agency, 1976); U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Final Generic Environmental Statement on the Use of Recycle Plutonium in Mixed Oxide Fuel in Light Water Cooled Reactors, vol. 4 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG-0002, or GESMO), 1976); Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group, Spurgeon M. Keeny, Jr., Chairman, Nuclear Power: Issues and Choices (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1977), pp. 173–174. 12. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Reactor Safety Study: An Assessment of Accident Risks in U.S. Commercial Nuclear Power Plants (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (WASH-1400), 1975). 13. For a complete review of the literature on reactor safety, see National Academy of Sciences, Risks Associated with Nuclear Power: A Critical Review of the Literature, Committee on Science and Public Policy, Committee on Literature Survey of Risks Associated with Nuclear Power (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1979). 14. See, for example, “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” Reviews of Modern Physics 50 (January 1978): S-1–S-185; and National Research Council, Radioactive Wastes at the Hanford Reservation: A Technical Review, Commission on Natural Resources, Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1978). 15. It must be recognized that this statement reflects the least common denominator of a wide range of views in CONAES, and is accordingly ambiguous. Some members of CONAES, for example, believe that nuclear energy is the lowest-cost and least environmentally risky technology available for the generation of electricity and should be encouraged to expand as rapidly as warranted by the electricity demand projections of the industry. Others believe that nuclear power is the technology of last resort and its expansion should be restricted to the
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems maximum extent compatible with no harm to the economy. Specifically, these members believe that plants operating or under construction should be allowed to live out their useful lives, and that additional LWR’s on the “planned” list should perhaps be allowed to be built and operated if carefully sited, but that more than the 150–200 GWe implied by these categories is likely to be unnecessary and should be avoided if possible, 16. E.L.Zebroski, and B.Sehgal, “Advanced Reactor Development Goals and Near-Term and Mid-Term Opportunities for Development” (Paper presented to the American Nuclear Society, Washington, D.C., November 18, 1976). 17. These estimates assume neither export nor import of uranium. 18. National Research Council, Problems of U.S. Uranium Resources and Supplies to the Year 2010, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Supply and Delivery Panel, Uranium Resource Group (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1979), p. 17. 19. The Ford Foundation cites this experience, with qualifications appropriate to the particular situation of uranium discovery and production, in concluding that government figures “substantially underestimate the amounts of uranium that will be available at competitive costs.” Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group, op. cit., pp. 9, 71–94. 20. Supply and Delivery Panel, Uranium Resource Group, Problems of U.S. Uranium Resources and Supplies to the Year 2010, op. cit., pp. 47–63. 21. Milling is the process by which uranium is extracted from its ores. It is only economical if done near the mine. 22. Assuming that each 1000-MWe (1-GWe) reactor requires 5750 tons of U3O8 over its 30-yr operating life—an average figure for today’s two versions of the light water reactor operating on a once-through fuel cycle. 23. U.S. Department of Energy, “Proposals Requested for Centrifuge Facility,” Weekly Announcements 1 (December 23, 1977):4. 24. The Cascade Uprating Program and Cascade Improvement Program, in addition to plans for ensuring supply of full power to enrichment plants. 25. A.de la Garza, “An Overview of U.S. Enriching Resources,” unpublished working paper for the Supply and Delivery Panel, August 27, 1976, p. 2. 26. U.S. Department of Energy, “Proposals Requested for Centrifuge Facility,” op. cit., p. 4. 27. Nuclear Fuel, October 31, 1977. 28. W.R.Voight, Jr., “Enrichment Supply” (Paper presented at the Fuel Cycle Conference, Atomic Industrial Forum, Phoenix, Ariz., 1976). 29. At some sacrifice in net conversion and with some plutonium as an unavoidable by-product, uranium enriched to 20 percent 235U could be substituted for highly enriched uranium, if this is considered a useful safeguard. The effect on separative work requirements would be very small. 30. The reactors mentioned are all well described in the nuclear literature; only the briefest list of characteristics is given here. In addition to the references cited for this section, the interested reader is referred to the files of the journal Nuclear Engineering International for descriptive articles on most of the important reactor types and prototypes. 31. There is a strong program now investigating “improved” light water reactor fuel cycles. The principal incentive of this program is to decrease the volume of spent fuel to be stored, and the program emphasizes longer reactor lifetime of the fuel. This, in turn, is conventionally approached by raising the enrichment of the fuel, making higher conversion efficiency increasingly difficult to achieve. The reader is cautioned that long fuel life (high burnup) does not by itself indicate improved use of uranium and may be counterproductive in that regard. 32. Kasten et al., op. cit.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 33. The Vulcain. See “High Burnup Irradiation Experience in Vulcain,” Nuclear Engineering International 15 (1970):93–99. 34. Supply and Delivery Panel, U.S. Energy Supply Prospects to 2010, op. cit., chap. 5, 35. J.S.Foster and E.Critoph, “The Status of the Canadian Nuclear Power Program and Possible Future Strategies” (Paper presented at the Wingspread Conference on Advanced Nuclear Converters and Near Breeders, Racine, Wisc., May 1976). 36. Resources Planning Associates, The Economics of Utilization of Thorium in Nuclear Reactors—Textual Annexes 1 and 2 (Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL/TM-6332), n.d.), p. 158, Table 2.13. 37. Ibid., p. 20. 38. Energy Research and Development Administration, Benefit Analysis of Reprocessing Light-Water Reactor Fuel, (Washington, D.C., Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA-76/121), December 1976). 39. For example, two such reports are “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” op. cit., and Kasten et al., op. cit. The former favors the CANDU, and the latter, the HTGR. Both urge further research and evaluation of several advanced-converter concepts. 40. 238Pu in high-burnup plutonium fuel makes the plutonium thermally and radioactively hot, creating considerable difficulty in fabricating weapons safely and reliably. 240Pu in high-burnup plutonium fuel significantly decreases the reliability and yield of a weapon, unless it is very sophisticated. 41. The Fast Test Reactor (FTR) is also known as the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), as the latter refers to the reactor and laboratory complex of which the FTR is the main component. 42. For the French Phenix reactor, reprocessing losses (for fuel irradiated to 130,000 MWd/metric ton) were about 1 percent; for the United Kingdom’s prototype fast reactor (PFR), reprocessing losses (average burnup: 7.5 percent) were less than 0–1 percent; for the EBR-II in the United States, 1 percent or less. Phenix: George Vendryes, Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique (CEA), personal communication to W.Kenneth Davis, Chairman, Supply and Delivery Panel, Feb, 9, 1978; PFR: R.H.Allardice, C.Buck, and J.Williams, “Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing in the U.K.” (Paper presented at the International Conference on Nuclear Power and Its Fuel Cycle, Salzburg, Austria, May 2–13, 1977); EBR-II: P.Murray, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, personal communication to W.Kenneth Davis, Chairman, Supply and Delivery Panel, February 7, 1978. 43. Among others, Peter Fortescue, “Sustaining an Adequately Safeguarded Nuclear Energy Supply” (Paper presented at the International Scientific Forum on an Acceptable Nuclear Energy Future for the World, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., November 7–11, 1977). 44. See, for example, Louis Harris and Associates, A Survey of Public and Leadership Attitudes Toward Nuclear Power Development in the United States (New York: Ebasco Services, Inc., 1975); Louis Harris and Associates, A Second Survey of Public and Leadership Attitudes Toward Nuclear Power Development in the United States (New York: Ebasco Services, Inc., 1976); and results of successive surveys by Edison Electric Institute in The Electric Utility Industry Today, 1971–1976 (not for general circulation). 45. Luther J.Carter, “Nuclear Initiatives: Two Sides Disagree on Meaning of Defeat,” Science 194 (1976):811–812. 46. Louis Harris and Associates, A Second Survey of Public and Leadership Attitudes, op. cit., p. 116. 47. See, for example, the report of the Consumption, Location, and Occupational Patterns Resource Group of this study; and Amory B.Lovins, Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace (New York: Ballantine Books, 1977). 48. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Report of the NAACP National Energy Conference, (Washington, D.C.: NAACP, December 21, 1977).
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 49. Harvey Brush, testimony before the Connecticut Public Utilities Control Authority, January 21, 1976. 50. Gordon R.Corey, testimony before the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, “Nuclear Power Costs (Part I),” 95th Cong., 1st Sess., September 12–19, 1977. 51. Charles Komanoff, testimony before the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, “Nuclear Power Costs (Part II),” 95th Cong., 1st Sess., September 20–22, 1977, p. 1186. 52. Harvey Brush, testimony before the Connecticut Public Utilities Control Authority, January 21, 1976. 53. Irvin Bupp, testimony before the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, “Nuclear Power Costs (Part II),” 95th Cong., 1st Sess., September 20–22, 1977, p. 1401. 54. Komanoff, op. cit., p. 1187. 55. Lewis J. Perl, testimony before the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, “Nuclear Power Costs (Part I),” 95th Cong., 1st Sess., September 12–19, 1977, p. 661 et seq. 56. A.David Rossin, paper prepared for the Commonwealth Edison Company, submitted with testimony of Gordon R.Corey before the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, “Nuclear Power Costs (Part I),” 95th Cong., 1st Sess., September 12–19, 1977, pp. 843–884. 57. Ibid. 58. Perl, op. cit., p. 694. 59. Rossin, op. cit., p. 881. 60. The Price-Anderson Act (Public Law 85–256, as amended) provides for insurance and partial indemnification of the civilian suppliers and users of nuclear power equipment, 61. Atomic Industrial Forum, Engineering Evaluation of Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Alternatives (Washington, D.C.: Atomic Industrial Forum (NESP), 1976). 62. M.Levenson and C.P.L.Zaleski, “Economic Perspective of the LMFBR,” unpublished monograph, 1976. 63. The Future Development and Acceptance of Light- Water Reactors in the U.S., report prepared by the Energy Lab in collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT (MIT-EL-78–035), 1978). 64. Committee on Science and Public Policy, Committee on Literature Survey of Risks Associated with Nuclear Power, op. cit., summary and synthesis chapter. 65. Decay Heat Power in Light Water Reactors, ANS-5.1 Proposed Standard, American Nuclear Society, June 1978. 66. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Reactor Safety Study, op. cit. 67. WASH-1400 specifically excludes reactor sabotage as a cause of release of radioactivity. This omission has been criticized. We nevertheless concur that the exclusion of sabotage and its consequences is proper. Other energy sources, to which nuclear power must be compared, are not normally evaluated on the basis of sabotage risks. 68. The ANS-5.1 Proposed Standard (see note 65) is 20 percent below the previous standard. 69. Fission Product Behavior in LWR’s, quarterly report (Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL/NUREG/TM-186), 1978). 70. National Research Council, Risks and Impacts of Alternative Energy Systems, Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, Risk and Impact Panel (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, in preparation), chap. 4. 71. Critiques, WASH-1400.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 72. Risk Assessment Review Group, H.W.Lewis, Chairman, The Risk Assessment Review Group Report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG/CR/0400), September 1978). 73. Risk and Impact Panel, Risks and Impacts of Alternative Energy Systems, op. cit., chap. 4. 74. Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group, op. cit. 75. Ibid., p. 232. 76. J.D.Griffith and F.X.Gavigan, “Reactors—Safe at Any Speed—1979 Update,” Proceedings of the International Meeting on Fast Reactor Safety Technology, Seattle, Washington, August 19–23, 1979. 77. L.Cave et al., “Designing for Safety in Fast Reactors in the Presence of Uncertainties,” and D.Okrent, “Some Thoughts on Reactor Safety,” both in Proceedings of the International Meeting on Fast Reactor Safety and Related Physics, U.S. Department of Commerce, October 5–8, 1975. Available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va. (Report no. CONF-761001). 78. Risk and Impact Panel, Risks and Impacts of Alternative Energy Systems, op. cit., chap. 4. 79. Committee on Science and Public Policy, Committee on Literature Survey of Risks Associated with Nuclear Power, op. cit., summary and synthesis chapter. 80. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC Plans for Research Directed Towards Improving Safety of Light- Water Nuclear Power Plants, Report to Congress, April 1977. 81. F.R.Farmer, “Risk Quantification and Acceptability,” Nuclear Safety 17 (1976): 418–421. 82. Also known as transuranic waste (TRU) if the alpha activity is due to neptunium, plutonium, or heavier elements. 83. National Research Council, Radioactive Wastes at the Hanford Reservation: A Technical Review, Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, Panel on Hanford Wastes (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1977). 84. R.D.Penzhorn, Alternativerfahren zur Kr-85-Endlagerung (Karlsruhe, Federal Republic of Germany: The Reactor Research Institute (KFK-2482), 1977). 85. “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” op. cit., Table 5-B-3. 86. Ibid., Table 5-D-7. 87. See, for example, studies conducted on veloxidation by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Chemical Technology Division, for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 88. U.S. Department of Energy, “DOE Announces New Spent Nuclear Fuel Policy,” Weekly Announcements 1, no. 2 (October 21, 1977). 89. G.de Marsily et al., “Nuclear Waste Disposal: Can the Geologist Guarantee Isolation?” Science 197 (1977):519. 90. “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” op. cit.; and J.D.Breckhoeft et al., Geologic Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes, U.S. Geological Survey Circular 779 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Geological Survey, 1978). 91. Thomas B.Johansson, and Peter Steen, Radioactive Waste from Nuclear Power Plants: Facing the Ringhals-3 Decision, 1978. 92. Energy Research and Development Administration, Alternatives for Long-Term Management of Defense High-Level Radioactive Waste, Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina, (Washington, D.C.: Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA77–42), 1977). 93. “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” op. cit.
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Energy in Transition, 1985-2010: Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems 94. H.Lawroski et al., “What Would Happen if High-Level Nuclear Wastes Were Stored Near the Surface of the Earth?” (Paper prepared for the Tucson Waste Symposium, March 1979). 95. “Report to the American Physical Society by the Study Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management,” op. cit. 96. Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, Panel on Hanford Wastes, op. cit. 97. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Safeguarding a Mixed-Oxide Industry: A Technical Report to Assist in Understanding Safeguarding (Washington, D.C.: Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NUREG-0414), 1978), Table 3.5, pp. 3–17. 98. J.W.Roddy et al., Correlation of Radioactive Waste-Treatment Cost and Environmental Impact of Waste Effluents in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle—Fabrication of High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Fuel Containing Uranium-233 and Thorium (Oak Ridge, Tenn.: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL/NUREG/TM-5), 1977). 99. The use of denatured cycles in the light water breeder reactor and high-temperature gas-cooled reactor has the advantage that the uranium and thorium are physically separated. On recycle, most of the uranium can be coprocessed with the thorium to yield a desirably denatured product, and only a fraction of the core material requires “salting” with 235U. Also, the higher the conversion ratio, the less feed of 235U is needed. 100. M.Levenson, and E.Zebroski, “A Fast Breeder System Concept—A Diversion-Resistant Fuel Cycle” (Paper presented at the Fifth Energy Technology Conference, Washington, D.C., February 27, 1978). 101. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Safeguarding a Mixed-Oxide Industry, op. cit., chap. 5. 102. See, for example, Theodore B.Taylor and Mason Willrich, Nuclear Theft: Risks and Safeguards (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger Publishing Co., 1974). 103. Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Sir Brian Flowers, Chairman, Nuclear Power and the Environment, 1976. 104. R.W.Fox, Chairman, Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, October 1976. 105. Nuclear Energy Policy Group, op. cit. 106. Richard K.Betts, “Paranoids, Pygmies, Pariahs, and Non-Proliferation,” Foreign Policy (1977):157–193. 107. Ted Greenwood, George W.Rathjens, and Jack Ruina, “Nuclear Power Technology and Nuclear Weapons Proliferation,” unpublished monograph, July 1976.
Representative terms from entire chapter: