2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

An Examination of the State of Nuclear Power Reactors in the United States
John F. Weaver
Dr. Ian Lindevald, Faculty Mentor

The main concerns surrounding nuclear power are the disposal of the waste byproduct and the dangers associated with it, the environmental impact of nuclear power plants on the areas surrounding them, and the risk of another catastrophic failure like the disaster at Chernobyl. However, these issues have been addressed at least enough so that some countries have come to rely more heavily on nuclear power than any other source; France for example, is 77% dependent on nuclear energy. The decline in production of new nuclear power sources in the United States is due, in large part, to political opposition fueled by irrational fears of unsubstantiated risks, and by doubts about the economic feasibility of building more efficient processing plants and reactors. By reducing political opposition and creating more economically efficient ways of obtaining and refining the fissile materials needed, the United States can become more nuclear dependent.

Keywords: nuclear, energy, physics, public policy, economics of reactors

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 24-1
Location: VH 1416
Time: 9:45

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