In This Review

Nuclear Power Issues and Choices: Report of the Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group
Nuclear Power Issues and Choices: Report of the Nuclear Energy Policy Study Group
By
Ballinger (for the Ford Foundation and the MITRE Corporation), 1977, 418 pp.

This impressive book, a model of clarity, depth and timeliness, appears to have had considerable impact on the nuclear policy of the Carter Administration. The 21-member group of experts examined the whole range of issues surrounding nuclear energy. Its recommendations are: (1) the international and social risks associated with the reprocessing and recycle of plutonium far outweigh the economic benefits and there is no compelling reason for the U.S. to depend upon plutonium in this century; (2) the breeder reactor program should be deemphasized and the date for commercialization postponed beyond the year 2000; (3) nuclear waste management should be expanded and improved, using stable geological formations; (4) U.S. uranium enrichment capacity should be enlarged so as to assure other countries adequate nuclear fuel supplies, thereby reducing pressures to seek indigenous facilities that would provide a capability leading to weapons; (5) the U.S. should, through its nuclear export policy, seek a consensus among supplier and consumer nations against the spread of national plutonium separation and uranium enrichment facilities. Although not alone in making such recommendations, this is likely to be seen as a landmark study.