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Energy Context. U.S. and World are experiencing a growing demand for energy Several potential options for energy supply are being considered All options impact economy, environment, and security…but in different ways All will likely be needed, in some mix, to meet energy demand

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energy context
Energy Context
  • U.S. and World are experiencing a growing demand for energy
  • Several potential options for energy supply are being considered
  • All options impact economy, environment, and security…but in different ways
  • All will likely be needed, in some mix, to meet energy demand
  • National policies, technical feasibility, costs and public perception will be important drivers for how the mix is determined (not the same in all countries)
today s presentation
Today’s Presentation
  • Why nuclear energy should be a significant contributor
  • In last month’s talk by Dr. Diamond, he noted, for nuclear energy:
      • Energy Security is National Security

(Uranium is a domestic source of energy)

      • Competitive Costs
      • No Climate-change Releases
      • Proven (Performance and Safety) Record
      • Concentrated Form of Energy

U.S. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION COSTS 1995-2007, In 2007 cents per kilowatt-hour


Production Costs = Operations and Maintenance Costs+ Fuel Costs

Source: Global Energy Decisions

Updated: 5/08

top 10 nuclear generating countries 2007 billion kwh

Source: International Atomic Energy Agency, U.S. is from Energy Information Administration

Updated: 5/08

growing worldwide interest in nuclear power
Growing Worldwide Interest in Nuclear Power
  • Countries (12) giving serious consideration to nuclear power (within 10 years)

Azerbaijan Belarus Egypt Indonesia Kazakhstan Norway Poland Lithuania Estonia Latvia Turkey Vietnam

  • Countries (20) with longer term plans underway

Algeria Australia Chile Georgia Ghana Jordan Libya Malaysia Morocco Namibia Nigeria Bahrain Kuwait Oman Saudi Arabia Qatar

United Arab Emirates Syria Venezuela Yemen

  • Other countries who also participated in 2006 International Atomic Energy Agency Workshop on Nuclear Power

Cameroon Croatia Kenya Sudan Tanzania Uruguay

* source: U.S. Department of State, International Security Advisory Board Report, April 2008,


Carbon Dioxide Prevented by Nuclear Energy in the Electric Sector(in million metric tons)Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2007

nuclear and greenhouse gases
Nuclear and Greenhouse Gases
  • Nuclear power plants generate electricity for one in five homes and businesses in the United States without emitting any greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.
  • Nuclear energy generates more than 70 percent of all carbon-free electricity in America
  • Nuclear energy is the only option available today that can provide base-load electricity production 24/7 economically and without emitting greenhouse gases.
  • Even if carbon dioxide emissions are evaluated on a total life cycle basis, those from nuclear energy are comparable to all other non-emitting sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower.

* From Nuclear Energy Institute,

nuclear and greenhouse gases 2
Nuclear and Greenhouse Gases (2)
  • Nuclear energy accounted for 36 percent of the voluntary greenhouse gas reductions (138 million metric tons of carbon dioxide) reported by the electric power sector in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other international and U.S. policy groups recognize that nuclear energy should play a significant role in global greenhouse gas emission reduction policies.
  • The nuclear energy industry supports federal and other action that reduces greenhouse gases. A credible program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will require a portfolio of technologies and approaches. Nuclear

energy is an indispensable part of that portfolio.

* From Nuclear Energy Institute,

nuclear energy s environmental benefits
Nuclear Energy’sEnvironmental Benefits

“[The United States should] provide opportunities for nuclear power to play a continuing

role in a future low-carbon electricity sector.… Because nuclear power is one of the few

options for no-carbon electricity production, efforts should be made to preserve this option.”

—Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Recommendation in “Agenda for Climate


“A more diverse mix of voices are taking a positive second look at nuclear energy—

environmentalists, scientists, the media, prominent Republicans and Democrats, and

progressive think tanks. They are all coming to a similar conclusion: If we are to meet the

growing electricity needs in this country and also address global climate change, nuclear

energy has a crucial role to play.”

—Patrick Moore

Co-founder, Greenpeace

Co-chair, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition

“Nuclear energy is the best option to curb carbon emissions.”

—Dr. R.K. Pachauri

Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

* From Nuclear Energy Institute,

the source fission

Fission is the splitting of a nucleus into two or more separate nuclei of comparable mass

One neutron interacts with one “fissionable” nucleus (Uranium for example)

Results are:

Fission Products – Two heavy nuclides

One heavier than the other (Average ratio of ~ 2 : 3 )

Neutrons – 2.43 on average emitted / fission

Important that more neutrons are produced than are used to cause one fission

Gamma rays, beta particles

Energy !!

E = mc2

proliferation and security concerns
Proliferation and Security Concerns
  • For nuclear energy systems, we distinguish two adversaries:
    • Host state decides to proliferate using its nuclear energy systems
    • Non-host entity (e.g. terrorist), threatens host with theft and/or sabotage
  • For host state, must have adequate international safeguards through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and related organizations
  • For non-host entity, national programs must be in place to prevent and manage threats
potential host state threats and solutions
Potential Host State Threats…and Solutions
  • Host state threat types
    • Diversion of Materials to Weapons Programs
    • Misuse of Energy Facilities
    • Breakout from International Treaty Obligations
  • Long history of success of IAEA in limiting spread of nuclear weapons (Nobel peace prize)
  • Historically weapons programs have not arisen through nuclear energy programs
  • International nuclear fuel supply banks and spent fuel take-back programs can help to reduce proliferation risk
  • Future designs may incorporate intrinsic features and advanced safeguards that would further reduce risk
nuclear plant security zones
Nuclear Plant Security Zones

Owner Controlled Area

Protected Area Double Fence

Protected Area

Vital Area

Access Control Points

waste disposal

A concern to many people

Used (spent) nuclear fuel consists of ceramic pellets encased in metal tubes…and still contains much useful energy

Current solution: On-site storage at nuclear power plant sites

  • Over the last 40 years, 3,000 shipments of spent nuclear fuel on 1.7 million miles of U.S. roads performed safely
  • Each shipment carefully packaged and monitored
    • Casks are ~15 times thicker than a gasoline tank truck shell and include 3 inches of stainless steel with thick lead radiation shields
    • Typically for every ton of spent fuel there are 3 tons of protective packaging
the future of nuclear power

51 US plants have obtained extensions of their 40-year license to enable operation to 60 years--41 more are pending…and 34 new units are proposed for the next few years

Nuclear energy is the only option available today that can provide base-load electricity production economically and without emitting greenhouse gases.

Trends in safety and operation have been excellent.

Nuclear waste disposal remains as an institutional challenge – technical solutions already exist

Proliferation and terrorism being addressed nationally and internationally – concerns will exists even without nuclear power

Worldwide interest in increased deployment of nuclear power

We need to continue as a world leader in the nuclear arena

 Nuclear power will be part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future