Submitted by Les. E. Shephard
Sandia National Laboratories
International Workshop on Radiological Sciences and Applications
ěPeaceful Users of Nuclear Technologiesî
March 16-18, 2005
Power for Peace and Prosperity in the 21st Century
A half-century ago, President Eisenhower in his 1953 "Atoms for Peace" speech, offered nuclear technology to other nations as part of a broad nuclear arms control initiative. In the years that followed, the nuclear power generation capabilities of many nations have helped economic development and contributed to the prosperity of the modern world. The continued expansion of nuclear power, while providing many benefits, has also contributed to an increasing global challenge over safe and secure management of nuclear materials and management of spent fuel.
Over 40 countries have invested in nuclear energy, operating over 440 nuclear power reactors worldwide. Nuclear power supplies approximately 16% of the global electricity needs. Continued demands for energy to drive world economic growth and prosperity will likely contribute to increasing global conflict and place increasing demand on all energy sources. Growing concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil energy and diminishing global reserves will place increased pressure on alternative energy sources. Many national energy strategies will adopt a posture that relies more heavily on nuclear power and that assumes the attendant responsibilities associated with the issues of safety, security and environmental stewardship. Technologies for the next nuclear era must enable optimization of the fuel cycle to assure greater efficiency, safety, proliferation resistance and waste minimization. We must be prepared to implement new paradigms for managing a global nuclear future that positively contributes to peace and prosperity throughout the 21st century.