A Nuclear Amplifier for Energy for Electricity Production

01-06-1999

The nuclear Energy Amplifier (EA) proposed in 1993 by Professor Carlo Rubbia, Nobel prize, is an original hybrid nuclear reactor made of a fast subcritical nuclear reactor driven by a high energetic and intense proton accelerator which could be at the same time basically a safe electricity producer and could also bum almost completely its own nuclear waste as well as other reactors ones. It found a number of echoes in Europe, in particular in Spain, Italy and France, as well as in the European Commission, in the European Parliament and in the World. The whole technology of the EA includes several components which are separately well mastered by the nuclear energy industry and the nuclear research community but with a number of innovative improvements which may present implementation and reliability difficulties. Many technological options are still open, and there is a need for more R&D. Experts largely agree that the EA could not produce electricity at a competitive price, and that the EA technology should not be aimed mainly to electricity production. EA could be an option for buming Actinides and other nuclear fission products, electricity being an interesting by-product of the reactor. In Europe, Italy, France and Spain have taken a first tripartite- initiative and are open to larger cooperation. Should Europe invest in this domain, and how? Should a research demonstrator be launched in short or medium term? This report addresses these points and propose orientation options to the European Parliament.

The nuclear Energy Amplifier (EA) proposed in 1993 by Professor Carlo Rubbia, Nobel prize, is an original hybrid nuclear reactor made of a fast subcritical nuclear reactor driven by a high energetic and intense proton accelerator which could be at the same time basically a safe electricity producer and could also bum almost completely its own nuclear waste as well as other reactors ones. It found a number of echoes in Europe, in particular in Spain, Italy and France, as well as in the European Commission, in the European Parliament and in the World. The whole technology of the EA includes several components which are separately well mastered by the nuclear energy industry and the nuclear research community but with a number of innovative improvements which may present implementation and reliability difficulties. Many technological options are still open, and there is a need for more R&D. Experts largely agree that the EA could not produce electricity at a competitive price, and that the EA technology should not be aimed mainly to electricity production. EA could be an option for buming Actinides and other nuclear fission products, electricity being an interesting by-product of the reactor. In Europe, Italy, France and Spain have taken a first tripartite- initiative and are open to larger cooperation. Should Europe invest in this domain, and how? Should a research demonstrator be launched in short or medium term? This report addresses these points and propose orientation options to the European Parliament.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Jean-Pierre Husson and Philippe de Montgolfier (Essor Europe, Paris, France)