But those risks and benefits all pertain to a very specific kind of nuclear energy: nuclear fission of uranium or plutonium isotopes. The existing fleet of nuclear power plants is fairly old. Nuclear power uses nuclear fission to release nuclear energy which creates heat that can then be used in nuclear power stations to provide electricity.
In addition, actinides, including those from LWR spent fuel, can undergo fission without significantly affecting performance of an advanced LMR, transmuting the actinides to fission products, most of which, except for technetium, carbon, and some others of little import, have half-lives very much shorter than the actinides.
The accident happened because of poor design there was no containment structure around the reactor and operating procedures. The reason for working with overnight costs rather than just adding up the construction cost dollars expended is to be able to account for different construction periods, rates of inflation, and costs of capital that may be attributed to different technologies, and to express cost comparisons at the same general price levels.
By contrast the neutrons that trigger U fission in a conventional reactor are generated from the fuel itself. The viability of nuclear power plants has been a topic of debate since their inception, with many both for and against it.
This situation is largely a consequence of the lack of reliable contemporary data for the actual construction costs of real nuclear plants.
How do the primary economic and CO2-mitigation motivations for building new nuclear power plants weigh against other considerations — safety, energy security, access to nuclear technology to obtain weapons capabilities — that may play a role as well?
The process continues in a chain reaction and can be controlled or stopped only by inserting rods of neutron-absorbing material into the reactor core. The decision to pursue the path of nuclear energy and to what extent is a highly debated topic in which experts are forced to weigh the risks and the rewards.