ABSTRACT

Experience in other energy industries such as oil and gas has shown that technologies require constant updating in order to stay competitive as new developments become possible and competing technologies become more cost-effective and improve in other ways. In a competitive area, improvements in one technology often spark similar improvements in others, and any technology that stands still will inevitably be overtaken. The nuclear industry is no exception. Indeed, its proponents point to significant improvements in the efficiency and safety of nuclear reactors over the past decade and claim that new approaches to nuclear generation, based on existing designs or involving more radical departures, now promise to deliver a much more effective technology. However, government aid may be necessary in bringing new designs to commercialization before organizations will have the confidence to order new plants.