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Fast Breeder Reactors in Sweden Vision and Reality
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. Max Planck Inst Hist Sci, Germany; MIT, USA.
2015 (English)In: Technology and culture, ISSN 0040-165X, E-ISSN 1097-3729, Vol. 56, no 1, 86-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fast breeder is a type of nuclear reactor that aroused much attention in the 1950s and '60s. Its ability to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumes offered promises of cheap and reliable energy. Sweden had advanced plans for a nuclear breeder program, but canceled them in the middle of the 1970s with the rise of nuclear skepticism. The article investigates the nuclear breeder as a technological vision. The nuclear breeder reactor is an example of a technological future that did not meet its industrial expectations. But that does not change the fact that the breeder was an influential technology. Decisions about the contemporary reactors were taken with the idea that in a foreseeable future they would be replaced with the efficient breeder. The article argues that general themes in the history of the breeder reactor can deepen our understanding of the mechanisms behind technological change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 56, no 1, 86-114 p.
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161642DOI: 10.1353/tech.2015.0029ISI: 000349510700004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84923350020OAI: diva2:795761

QC 20150317

Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-13 Last updated: 2015-03-17Bibliographically approved

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