New Ways and Needs for Exploiting Nuclear Energy

Authors: Sornette, Didier, Kröger, Wolfgang, Wheatley, Spencer

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  • Reviews future options and strategies for low-carbon energy systems
  • Makes a detailed risk and benefit analysis to compare the real economic, environmental and societal costs of nuclear, renewable and fossil energies
  • Formulates the demanding criteria for taming nuclear risks by excluding mechanisms that lead to serious accidents by design
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About this book

The history of mankind is a story of ascent to unprecedented levels of comfort, productivity and consumption, enabled by the increased mastery of the basic reserves and flows of energy. This miraculous trajectory is confronted by the consensus that anthropogenic emissions are harmful and must decrease, requiring de-carbonization of the energy system.  

The mature field of indicator-based sustainability assessment provides a rigorous systematic framework to balance the pros and cons of the various existing energy technologies using lifecycle assessments and weighting criteria covering the environment, economy, and society, as the three pillars of sustainability. In such a framework, nuclear power is ranked favorably, but since emphasis is often placed on radioactive wastes and risk aversion, renewables are usually ranked top. However, quantifying the severity of the consequences of nuclear accidents on a rough integral cost basis and balancing severity with low core-damage accident probabilities indicates that the average external cost of such accidents is similar to that of modern renewables, and far less than carbon-based energy.

This book formulates the overall goal and associated unprecedented demanding criteria of taming nuclear risks by excluding mechanisms that lead to serious accidents and avoiding extremely long stewardship times as far as possible, by design. It reviews the key design features of nuclear power generation, paving the way for the exploration of radically new combinations of technologies to come up with “revolutionary” or even “exotic” system designs.  The book also provides scores for the selected designs and discusses the high potential for far-reaching improvements, with small modular lines of the best versions as being most attractive.

Given the ambition and challenges, the authors call for an urgent increase in funding of at least two orders of magnitude for a broad international civilian “super-Apollo” program on nuclear energy systems. Experience indicates that such investments in fundamental technologies enable otherwise unattainable revolutionary innovations with massive beneficial spillovers to the private sector and the public for the next generations.

About the authors

Didier Sornette obtained his PhD from the University of Nice in Physical Sciences (1985) and went on to become a post-doctoral student at the famous College de France, in the Condensed Matter Laboratory of Prof. P.G. de Gennes (Nobel prize in Physics 1991).

He has been a visiting professor in Australia, France, the US and China, before taking on the chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at ETH-Zurich in 2006, where he is also Professor of Physics and of Geophysics. He is the Director of the Financial Crisis Observatory (since 2008) and Founding member of the Risk Center at ETH Zurich (2011).

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Strategic Aspects of Energy

    Pages 1-56

    Sornette, Didier (et al.)

  • Basics of Civilian Nuclear Fission

    Pages 57-96

    Sornette, Didier (et al.)

  • Governance: Organizations and Management Issues

    Pages 97-117

    Sornette, Didier (et al.)

  • Risk in Nuclear Power Operation

    Pages 119-159

    Sornette, Didier (et al.)

  • Severe Accidents: Singularity of Nuclear Disasters?

    Pages 161-198

    Sornette, Didier (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97652-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97651-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-030-07384-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
New Ways and Needs for Exploiting Nuclear Energy
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-97652-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-97652-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-97651-8
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-07384-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 276
Number of Illustrations
13 b/w illustrations, 77 illustrations in colour
Topics