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Why did the Breeder Reactor Fail?: Swedish and international nuclear development in a cold war context
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
2009 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the visions about nuclear breeder reactors, plans set out in the aftermath of World War II. This seemed like the ideal solution for future energy, and even small countries, as Sweden, launched breeder reactor programs. The breeder reactor never reached industrial development, interestingly; however, different countries cancelled their breeder project at different times. In this article, in addition to discussing why breeder reactors failed generally, I also suggest possible explanations for the differences in when the reactors failed, particularly between Europe and the United States. Though the breeder reactor never fulfilled its promises, it is an interesting example about the complex mechanisms behind technological development. It tells us a story about a technological failure that is not simple, but must be understood in a social, economical and political context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 11 p.
CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation, 186
Keyword [en]
nuclear power history, Sweden, fast breeder reactors, FR0
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-50892OAI: diva2:462988
QC 20111213. Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 186, CESIS (2009)Available from: 2011-12-08 Created: 2011-12-08 Last updated: 2011-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Fjæstad, Maja
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