Source: International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA
Nuclear reactors have been used for decades, providing low-carbon electricity in many parts of the world. The past, present and future of nuclear reactors and nuclear power is discussed in the latest episode of Nuclear Explained – the IAEA’s podcast launched at the end of last year. Available on Apple, Google and Spotify, the podcast demystifies the world of nuclear and explains how nuclear technologies provides benefits in our daily lives. In this episode, three experts discuss the history of nuclear reactors, the way they generate electricity, the advantages they present, as well as the challenges they face.
“A nuclear power plant is very similar to a coal-fired plant or a gas-fired plant, where you boil the water, you produce steam and you transfer it to the turbine generator. However, in a nuclear reactor, the origin of the heat is the fission process,” said Helmuth Boeck, a retired professor from the Technical University of Vienna, in the podcast.
The episode features interviews with Boeck, as well as Ben Heard, Senior Consultant at Frazer Nash Consultancy in Australia, and Aline des Cloizeaux, Director of the Division of Nuclear Power at the IAEA. When it comes to the deployment of nuclear reactors around the world, “it’s not one picture. It is a mixed picture,” Heard says in the podcast. Nuclear has its advantages as an effective source of clean energy. On the other hand, the time, expertise and upfront investment to deploy nuclear reactors are challenges to address.
The IAEA provides assistance to countries to safely, securely and effectively introduce and continue to utilize nuclear power. “We have developed a special approach, which we call the Milestones Approach, and we support the countries that request the IAEA’s help in assessing the level of readiness, according to certain phases,” des Cloizeaux said.
Learn more about the three phases and the Milestones Approach.
The IAEA’s Nuclear Explained podcast features interviews with top experts from around the world. Upcoming episodes will cover topics, such as the safety of nuclear power plants, the clean energy transition, food security and more.
Nuclear Explained complements the series of explanatory articles on iaea.org, on the benefits of nuclear technologies and the way in which they contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It is available on Apple, Google and Spotify. Send questions and feedback to nuclearexplained [at] iaea.org.