Critical notes: history, state, problems and prospects of nuclear science and technology
This paper attempts to analyze, based on a simplified phenomenological approach, the methodology of the evolution histories of nuclear science and technology, as well as the contradictions and issues which, if not resolved, make senseless any discussions of scenarios for the full-scale evolution of nuclear power.
The paper analyzes in brief the evolution history of nuclear technologies in the USA and in the USSR. It also considers the present-day status of nuclear power. Two international projects, INPRO and GIF-IV, were initiated in 2000 to look for the way out of the crisis that had occurred in the evolution of nuclear power. INPRO aims to define the evolution strategy for and the requirements to the nuclear power of tomorrow. The GIF-IV project aiming to develop Generation IV reactors for future NPPs focuses on building innovative reactors capable to address the challenges involved in further evolution of nuclear power.
The following issues were considered as the result of the system analysis: further evolution of nuclear power internationally; nuclear nonproliferation; NPP safety; nuclear waste; climate and oxygen burning by NPP operation; education and training of younger generations of nuclear workers.
The critical analysis into the history, status and future evolution of nuclear technologies at the present-day stage shows that the nuclear energy market has monopolized the industry of designing, engineering and building practically only one type of nuclear reactors for NPPs (95% of the NPPs under construction have water-cooled water-moderated reactors) due to which single-skilled personnel are largely trained for the construction and operation of this type of plants. Achieving the full-scale evolution level of nuclear power capable to resolve the socio-economic and ecological issues faced by humankind requires a basically new evolution concept for all domains of nuclear industry.
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