Global energy demand is likely to rise substantially by mid-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 only four options to 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 book, the culmination of a two-year study, provides a dispassionate and objective assessment of this controversial fuel. Decision-makers and their advisors, as well as proponents and opponents of the fuel, will find in it clarification of the main issues influencing the future of nuclear energy: relative economics, public perceptions and the process of decision-making, nuclear R&D, waste management, reprocessing and proliferation, nuclear safety, 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.
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