Child's atomic energy kit (circa 1950's) *want*

Is nuclear power yesterday’s technology and best left in the past?

Not at all. Advances in nuclear technology have certainly been thwarted by the decision in 1994 to terminate US Government funded R&D in this field, but that has not stopped other countries and private companies from applying the fruits of today’s technological revolution to nuclear energy.

Indeed, there’s a renaissance in reactor design currently underway that’s going in a very different direction from the Light Water Reactor (LWR) that was first commercialized in 1950’s and is now the dominant design around the world. There are exciting developments in the use of Thorium as a fuel source (LFTR) which shows enormous promise, particularly in terms of safety and proliferation concerns. There are small modular reactors (SMR’s), two of which have just received support from the Obama administration to move toward commercialization. The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), the prototype for which is featured in the documentary, has been designed for commercial roll out by GE and is called the PRISM. Bill Gates is investing heavily in a design called the Traveling Wave Reactor. All of these reactor designs, and many more, offer extraordinary improvements in safety, waste management (most are actually fuelled by today’s nuclear waste), proliferation resistance, and cost competitiveness.