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On the other hand, countries that have built and tested nuclear weapons have followed other paths than purchasing commercial nuclear reactors, reprocessing the spent fuel, and obtaining plutonium. Some have built facilities for the express purpose of enriching uranium; some have built plutonium production reactors; and some have surreptitiously diverted research reactors to the production of plutonium. All these pathways to nuclear proliferation have been more effective, less expensive, and easier to hide from prying eyes than the commercial nuclear power route.

Nevertheless, nuclear proliferation remains a highly sensitive issue, and any country that wishes to launch a commercial nuclear power industry will necessarily draw the close attention of oversight bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.

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Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. Written By: William Martin. Start Your Free Trial Today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: antinuclear movement. The goals and ideologies of the antinuclear movement range from an emphasis on peace and environmentalism to intellectual social activism based on knowledge of nuclear technology and to political and moral activism based on conflicts between nuclear power applications and policies and….

Some energy analysts consider nuclear power to be a form of renewable energy because of its low carbon emissions; nuclear power generated Electric power , energy generated through the conversion of other forms of energy, such as mechanical, thermal, or chemical energy.

New Tech Is Helping Nuclear Power Make a Comeback

Electric energy is unrivaled for many uses, as for lighting, computer operation, motive power, and entertainment applications. For other uses it is competitive, as for many industrial heating applications, cooking, space…. United States , country in North America, a federal republic of 50 states.

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Why Nuclear Power Must Be Part of the Energy Solution

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  • Nuclear power!
  • Nuclear Energy - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics!
  • Nuclear power comes from nuclear fission.
  • Thank you for your feedback. Nuclear power has a lot going for it. But containing the powerful nuclear processes at its heart is incredibly complex, which means building plants is expensive and catastrophic failure is always a possibility. That slump has caused concern among some experts, including many who previously opposed nuclear power. UN researchers say increased use of nuclear power is crucial if we are to limit global warming to 1.

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    Despite this worrying outlook, though, a host of startups are trying to breath e new life into a nuclear industry that was long the purview of engineering giants and state-backed industry. At the same time, several startups believe the long-awaited era of nuclear fusion is nearly upon us. Perhaps the most talked-about nuclear power innovation of recent years is the small modular reactor.

    By shrinking the size of these plants, the hope is to dramatically reduce the large capital costs of nuclear power and reduce the potential impacts of a large-scale nuclear meltdown. NuScale is leading the charge with this technology and has a project with the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to build 12 of its megawatt MW reactors by , for a total of MW.

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    The project reached an important milestone in July after signing contracts to supply more than MW to local utilities. But the deal is still far from sealed. MIT Tech Review points out that another small modular reactor producer was in a similar position less than a decade ago, but the plan fizzled out after they failed to find enough customers. And while small modular reactors may capture a greater share of the headlines, according to CB Insights another technolog y seems to be faring better with investors.

    While conventional nuclear plants use pressurized water as a coolant, molten salt reactors instead use a molten salt, which allows them to operate at much lower pressures and therefore reduces the risk of an accident.