Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorWalker, William
dc.identifier.citationWalker , W 2021 , ' The history of nuclear power's imagined future : plutonium's journey from asset to waste ' , Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , vol. 77 , no. 5 , pp. 259-264 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 275308711
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 705f3418-41e9-42fb-9464-7f710bcfc0ca
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000693423600007
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85114473321
dc.description.abstractSeparated civil plutonium should be formally regarded as a waste, not a fuel that has value. It is time for governments and industries to acknowledge – everywhere – that civil reprocessing, plutonium’s provider, is a waste-generating and complicating technology, a source of dangers and burdens rather than putative benefits. Much better solutions to spent fuel management and energy production now exist. Long unwanted as fuel by utilities, immense stocks of plutonium have accumulated in France, Japan, Russia, and the UK from reprocessing programs launched in the 1970s. Politically embedded, they continued long after the “plutonium economy” and its fast breeder reactors had lost credibility. China, a recent advocate, should beware of the costs of going down this road and of stoking insecurities in Asia and beyond if connections to weapon programs are feared. Drawing upon a recent book by Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo, and Jungmin Kang, this essay provides a fresh perspective on plutonium and reprocessing’s troubled international histories, including histories of imagined futures that have so heavily influenced their politics and economics.
dc.relation.ispartofBulletin of the Atomic Scientistsen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.en
dc.subjectNuclear futuresen
dc.subjectFast breeder reactoren
dc.subjectNuclear tradeen
dc.subjectSpent fuel managementen
dc.subjectNuclear historyen
dc.subjectJZ International relationsen
dc.titleThe history of nuclear power's imagined future : plutonium's journey from asset to wasteen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of International Relationsen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record