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ics Colloquium
Friday, March 2, 2012
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.
Sama Bilbao Y Leon [Host: Simonetta Liuti]
Virginia Commonwealth University
"The Next Generation of Nuclear Reactor Designs"
 Slideshow (PDF)
There are today over 440 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries. They provide about 14% of the world's electricity in the form of economic, environmentally sound and reliable base-load power. In addition, 63 new nuclear reactors are currently under construction in 14 countries. But much has changed in the design of nuclear reactors since the first commercial nuclear power stations started operating in the 1950s. Modern nuclear reactors, those that will be built in the short term, achieve improvements over existing designs through small to moderate modifications, with a strong emphasis on maintaining design provenness and building upon the lessons learnt from 40 years of successful operation, to minimize technological and investment risks. At the same time, nuclear designers are already working on a new generation of nuclear reactor concepts incorporating radical conceptual changes in design approaches or system configuration in comparison with existing practice. Substantial research and development efforts, feasibility tests, as well as a prototype or demonstration plant are probably required prior to the commercial deployment of these innovative designs. This talk will provide an overview of the most recent developments in nuclear reactor design, including those using alternative fuel cycles, such as Thorium.

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