Nuclear Technology / Volume 179 / Number 1 / July 2012 / Pages 112-116
Technical Paper / Special Issue on Safeguards / Fuel Cycle and Management
The optimization of a nuclear energy system's performance requires an integrated consideration of multiple design goals - sustainability, safety and reliability (S&R), proliferation resistance and physical protection (PR&PP), and economics - as well as careful evaluation of trade-offs for different system design and operating parameters. Design approaches motivated by each of the goal areas (in isolation from the other goal areas) may be mutually compatible or in conflict. However, no systematic methodology approach has yet been developed to identify and maximize synergies and optimally balance conflicts across the possible design configurations and operating modes of a nuclear energy system. Because most Generation IV systems are at an early stage of development, design, and assessment, designers and analysts are only beginning to identify synergies and conflicts between PR&PP, S&R, and economics goals. The close coupling between PR&PP and S&R goals has motivated early attention within the Generation IV International Forum to their integrated consideration to facilitate the optimization of their effects and the minimization of potential conflicts. This paper discusses the status of this work.