severe environmental restrictions will lead in turn to sharp price competition and corresponding instability. It is nuclear power, with its greater fuel resources using existing technologies, that may be able to stabilize the energy sector in the twenty-first century on an environmentally safe basis.
The competitive advantages of this type of energy production are commonly known. Here I would like to focus on history, however: specifically those very joyous predictions that were made with regard to the rates of development of the nuclear energy sector in the 1960s. It should be acknowledged that the large-scale plans for building nuclear reactors that were made in the majority of the leading countries never materialized, and the hopes associated with these plans were not justified either. The basic reasons for this are well known. In the initial stage of development of the nuclear power industry, insufficient attention was paid to matters of comprehensive safety.
The accidents at the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl power plants had a severely negative impact on the views of the general population regarding the safety of nuclear technologies. The fact that in the mind of the average observer, the effects of radiation are intangible and therefore uncontrollable, led to widespread radiophobia among the masses. Here, naturally, there appeared certain individuals and even groups that for various reasons took an interest in ensuring that this fear of radiation became constant among people. We encountered this in Russia in this previous stage in the industry’s development partly because our nuclear power industry had to operate in a closed manner because of its close ties with military programs. Now, however, we are changing: We are building information centers, conducting scientific debates, and publicizing our activities in the media, and radiophobia is lessening among the population. Unprecedented measures have been taken regarding the safety of existing nuclear reactors as well as those under construction. Their high reliability has been proven by many years of operating experience, and the public recognizes this. What then is hindering the development of the nuclear power industry, its full renaissance? I will try to provide one answer to this question later in this paper.
Russia has created its Strategy for the Development of Nuclear Power in the First Half of the Twenty-First Century, the basic elements of which include the doubling of energy output and the formation of a closed nuclear fuel cycle. As a result, we must ensure fuller utilization of natural fissionable materials as well as those created during reactor operations, minimize the volume of radioactive wastes, and promote nuclear and radiation nonproliferation. This approach was presented in the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. This initiative called for broad international cooperation on nuclear energy to ensure stable development, nonproliferation of nuclear materials, and environmental, nuclear, and radiation safety. As you know, in the United States, efforts to improve reactors are being carried out under the Nuclear Energy 2010 Program, while work on innovative nuclear technologies is coordinated under the international program Generation