J. Phys. IV France
Volume 09, Numéro PR7, July 1999
Proceedings of the Workshop Innovative Options in the Field of Nuclear Fission Energy
Page(s) Pr7-185 - Pr7-202
Proceedings of the Workshop Innovative Options in the Field of Nuclear Fission Energy

J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr7-185-Pr7-202

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:1999712

Radical innovation for a second nuclear era : Conditions for success

D. Finon

Institute of Energy Policy and Economics, CNRS and University of Grenoble, BP. 47, 38040 Grenoble cedex 09, France

Is it possible to create the conditions for a nuclear revival through suitable technological response which would win over public opinions, industry and governments in the future ? This communication analyses the specific characteristics of the nuclear technology which create and maintain a de facto lock-in around the LWR, the conditions for success of the initial "technology push", and the factors which made nuclear technology unsuited to its changing environment (problems of social acceptance, competition of new power generation techniques, liberalisation of power industries). The aim is to identify the respective possibility either of pursuing the trajectory of incremental innovations, or of breaking loose from the technological "path dependency" of LWR systems with a radical innovation such as the Accelerator-Driven System (ADS), in order to overcome the problem of unsuitability of nuclear technology and to respond to the energy and environmental challenges of the XXIe century. Such a radical innovation has to meet numerous safety, non-proliferation and economic criteria, but it could only be part of the response to the social and economic existing constraints on the diffusion of the nuclear technology. How to organise the support to its development without the certainty of its success

© EDP Sciences 1999