Advantages and disadvantages of Generation 4 nuclear reactor:

Relative to current nuclear power plant technology, the claimed benefits for 4th generation reactors include:

  • Nuclear waste that lasts a few centuries instead of millennia
  • 100-300 times more energy yield from the same amount of nuclear fuel
  • The ability to consume existing nuclear waste in the production of electricity
  • Improved operating safety
One disadvantage of any new reactor technology is that safety risks may be greater initially as reactor operators have little experience with the new design. Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum has explained that almost all serious nuclear accidents have occurred with what was at the time the most recent technology. He argues that "the problem with new reactors and accidents is twofold: scenarios arise that are impossible to plan for in simulations; and humans make mistakes". As one director of a U.S. research laboratory put it, "fabrication, construction, operation, and maintenance of new reactors will face a steep learning curve: advanced technologies will have a heightened risk of accidents and mistakes. The technology may be proven, but people are not".

Related Post