This chapter discusses the new generation of nuclear power reactors. there are approximately 40 countries with nuclear energy as part of their power mix, with some countries planning to phase out or scale back their nuclear power programs, such as Germany and France, and some planning to increase their nuclear capacity, such as China. There are concerns about the safety of nuclear reactors and the issues of waste management, as well as concerns over the costs of nuclear energy. Technical advances will be necessary in order for nuclear energy to remain a significant part of the power mix in some countries, including a breakthrough in the safety system, advances in fuel security, options for fuel recycling, and techniques to reduce the costs. A fourth generation of nuclear power reactors will bring together different kinds of advanced nuclear fission energy technology that shares a number of key characteristics: the modularity of the production systems and the building of smaller scale units, the use of alternative systems for fuel repossessing of uranium, and the design of improved automatic and even passive safety systems. These fourth generation reactors must be simpler so that they are less vulnerable to construction delays and cost overruns, but also more difficult to convert to nuclear weapons and safer from meltdowns. This video is part of the module The Key Technological Challenges of Deep Decarbonization.
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