Nowadays the fission of uranium in pressurized water reactors produces almost the whole of nuclear energy in the world. In France, the latest developments have led to the EPR.
However, this technology presents risks – Three Miles Island, Tchernobyl and Fukushima accidents – and is no longer socially acceptable.
The need to
de-carbonize together with the movement to clean up the climate, means that we cannot do without nuclear energy. The limits of so called renewable energies, wind and solar power, given their random – and non-controllable character – cannot insure the primary electrical energy base.
Other solutions studied within the International forum Generation IV offer decisive advantages :
- being fundamentally safe,
- reducing radioactive waste,
- eliminating the risk of nuclear proliferation,
- reducing investments and operating costs,
- offer a range of power,
- being a breeder reactor.
Generation IV has selected six concepts, among which the liquid fuel reactors seems to be the most promising one. The MSFR ( Molten Salt Fast Reactors ) can be based on thorium salts, abundant and widespread fuel. That solution was historically neglected, because the military did not profit from it as there is no plutonium as the final product.