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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of nuclear power around the world, the fundamentals of nuclear technology, and nuclear energy’s costs and benefits. Nuclear energy accounts for 10.6 percent of energy produced for electricity globally. Although a relatively small percentage of production, it has often been in the spotlight for its great potential, both good and bad. As of 2018, there were 451 operational commercial nuclear reactors globally and many more under construction. This chapter explores some of the key arguments made for and against nuclear energy and examines future areas of nuclear power development, including small modular reactors, advanced Generation IV reactor designs, and the expansion of non-electric applications, in light of the current state of nuclear power.

Keywords: nuclear power, nuclear energy, SMR, Generation IV, non-electric applications

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