Global energy demand is likely to rise substantially by the mid-21st century. At the same time, the use of fossil fuels may need to be severely curtailed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Nuclear power is one of the few options that meet these conflicting requirements. However, its potential to do so is an issue of wide disagreement and high emotions, with balanced information hard to find. This text, the culmination of a two-year study, provides a dispassionate and objective assessment of the major disputes on the future role of this controversial fuel. Decisionmakers and their advisers, as well as proponents and opponents of the fuel, should find that this book provides clarification of the main issues influencing the future of nuclear energy: relative economics, public perceptions and the process of decisionmaking, nuclear research and development, waste management, reprocessing and proliferation, nuclear safety and nuclear power and the Kyoto Protocol. In the light of the many uncertainties in the field of energy, the relevance of these issues can only continue to grow.

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