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Special Issue "Advanced Nuclear Reactors: Designs, Technologies and Policies for 21st Century Global Challenges"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "C: Energy Economics and Policy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2024 | Viewed by 876

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. David K. Gattie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Engineering; Senior Fellow, Center for International Trade & Security, Driftmier Engineering Center, University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602-4435, USA
Interests: comprehensive energy policy and integrated resource planning in the electric power sector; national security implications of nuclear power

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 21st century is witnessing major advances in nuclear reactor technologies worldwide. Examples include small modular reactors, molten salt reactors, fast breeder reactors, thorium-fueled reactors, high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, and sodium-cooled reactors. While these designs remain in various stages of development, there is anticipation that advanced nuclear reactor technologies will mature within the next two decades, when they can be deployed and brought to bear on some of the greater challenges facing the world today, particularly the challenge of meeting ever-increasing global energy demands under low-carbon constraints. This is especially applicable in emerging economies, where high-density urban populations and rapid economic development are calling for more energy, not less. These are challenges that many argue cannot be met without nuclear power.

As scientists and engineers continue to develop this promising new generation of nuclear reactors, there are issues that must be overcome before these technologies can be deployed broadly and at scale. This includes societal acceptance among both the general public and policymakers related to, among other issues, nuclear safety and security, nuclear project financing, spent fuel management, international nuclear alliances and public–private partnerships. Consequently, there is a gap between the promise of advanced reactor technologies and the deployment of advanced reactor technologies. This gap will need to be bridged by novel energy policy concepts, frameworks and alliances in order to facilitate this critical and necessary deployment.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide a forum to publish work on advanced nuclear reactor designs along with creative policy approaches that can serve to span the gap between advanced reactor technologies and the large-scale deployment of these technologies. Of particular interest are contributions focused on regions looking to initiate civilian nuclear power programs, accelerate nascent programs or re-invigorate stalled programs. Therefore, papers on such topics as advanced nuclear reactors, nuclear power policy, energy policy, spent fuel management, energy and national security, nuclear export controls and international nuclear cooperation are invited to contribute to this Special Issue.

Dr. David K. Gattie
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • advanced nuclear reactors
  • nuclear power policy
  • small modular reactors
  • nuclear fuels
  • spent fuels and reprocessing
  • nuclear finance
  • energy and national security
  • grid reliability
  • nuclear export controls
  • public acceptance of nuclear

Published Papers (1 paper)

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National Security as a Value-Added Proposition for Advanced Nuclear Reactors: A U.S. Focus
Energies 2023, 16(17), 6162; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16176162 - 24 Aug 2023
Viewed by 589
The U.S. has transitioned from being the 20th-century global leader in civilian nuclear power to a nation searching for ways to revive its once-dominant nuclear enterprise. The future of U.S. civilian nuclear power transcends that of a science and technology issue and, fundamentally, [...] Read more.
The U.S. has transitioned from being the 20th-century global leader in civilian nuclear power to a nation searching for ways to revive its once-dominant nuclear enterprise. The future of U.S. civilian nuclear power transcends that of a science and technology issue and, fundamentally, is a policy issue. This is a policy paper that uses a nuclear power policy framework to analyze current and historical U.S. civilian nuclear power policy and to identify weaknesses and deficiencies that need to be overcome in order for the U.S. to (1) leverage advanced nuclear reactors as a domestic technology to meet energy security and reliability objectives under carbon constraints, (2) operationalize national security as a priority objective and (3) restore the U.S. as a major global exporter of nuclear technology. The results of this analysis indicate that the national security implications of U.S. nuclear power have been marginalized in general due to the domestic market challenges of competing with less expensive and oftentimes more socially acceptable technologies, as well as the international challenges of competing with state-owned nuclear enterprises. The results are then discussed and used for making three following policy recommendations: (1) conduct a U.S. nuclear industrial base review; (2) create a demand signal using U.S. military installations; and (3) shift away from a sell-side nuclear vendor model for global exports to a buy-side model brokered by a third-party integrator that can work with multiple U.S. nuclear partners. Full article
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