Why did the Breed Reactor Fail? - Swedish and international nuclear development in a cold war context
AbstractThis 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 186.
Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: 26 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
Web page: http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/
More information through EDIRC
technology; technology development; institutions; innovation; innovation failure;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N70 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2009-08-30 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2009-08-30 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-PPM-2009-08-30 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
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