AUTHORCochran, Thomas / Feiveson, Harold / Patterson, Walter C. / Pshakin, Gennadi / Ramana, M. V. / Schneider, Mycle / Suzuki, Tatsujiro / von Hippel, Frank, Eds.
TITLEFast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status
PUBLISHERInternational Panel on Fissile Materials
CITYPrinceton, NJ
Web Access
Available online from International Panel on Fissile Materials

This report examines the history and current status (2010) of fast breeder nuclear reactor programs in France, India, Japan, Russia, Britain, and the United States. The author of the introductory chapter, Frank von Hippel, asserts that after sixty years and billions of dollars, the promise of fast breeder technology remains elusive. He provides an introduction to plutonium breeding, the rationale for pursuing breeder reactor technology, and the reasons it has not become commercially viable. While the technology is not dead, the author suggests it has moved further into the future. The ensuing chapters focus on the experiences of the six nations with breeder reactor programs. They summarize not only scientific and technical challenges but also political, economic, and social issues. The report provides an understandable introduction to a controversial technology.

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