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2020 ANS Annual Meeting
June 8–11, 2020
Online Virtual Meeting
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
U.S. nuclear capacity factors: Resiliency and new realities
In the early years of the Nuclear News capacity factors survey, any factor over 70 was deemed excellent; any factor under 50 was considered poor. By that standard, all but two operating U.S. power reactors chalked up excellent performance during 2017–2019. A record 809.4 TWh of electricity was generated in the United States from nuclear energy in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), besting the record of 807.1 TWh set in 2018.
Nuclear News staff developed the capacity factors survey in the early 1980s as a way to identify the most productive reactors in an expanding fleet. Fleet improvement was the industry’s self-identified goal, but no one could anticipate the startlingly rapid pace of improvement, spurred by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), which boosted fleetwide performance to highs that continue today.
Item ID: 800011|ISBN: 978-0199733842
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At the Geneva Superpower Summit in November 1985, Secretary of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan agreed to pursue an international effort to develop fusion energy for peaceful purposes. At a time when tension between these cold war nations was very high, how were these leaders able to come together to work towards making nuclear fusion a feasible energy source?The Quest for a Fusion Energy Reactor is the story of the INTOR Workshop (INternational TOkamak Reactor) which brought together scientists and engineers from Europe, Japan, the United States, and the (then) USSR from 1978 to 1988 to share their individual research and work cooperatively on the design and development possibilities for harnessing nuclear energy. Drawing on his insights while serving as Vice Chairman of the INTOR Workshop, Weston Stacey offers an insider's account of both the participants' technical work and their fascinating political interactions under the blanket of the cold war. An accessible presentation of their research on the viability of designing, constructing, and operating a Tokamak experimental power reactor is combined with personal anecdotes of the obstacles Workshop leaders and participants faced as they strove to make progress on the global future of nuclear fusion technology while balancing their own countries' priorities. The Workshop led to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), construction of which began in 2009 with the goal of demonstrating the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power.