It is apprehended that serious conflict may emerge from energy crisis within the 21st century, we expect shortages of fossil energy, limitations in renewable energy implementation. Even LWR technology will be confronted with problems ranging from the depletion of uranium resources to the radiological hazard of spent nuclear fuels. Hence, the revolution of nuclear technology is essential to the sustained and clean nuclear energy. In the resource-stricken Korea, it is indispensable to establish the national energy security by active development of such revolutionary nuclear options. The technology development for nuclear wastes transmutation has been recently initiated to transmute long-living waste in spent nuclear fuel into short-living low-intermediate level waste, based on unique PEACER design that is reputed for its excellence in performance and viability.
Core technology for the partitioning and transmutation including pyroprocessing and Pb-Bi coolant technology are either successfully developed ot being explored in leading nuclear nations. It is difficult to safely dispose of pent nuclear fuels containing plutonium in geological formation and to assure international trust on proliferation-control due to scarcity of suitable sites and dense population in Korea. Long-living transuranic waste elements can be fissioned in fast neutron spectra and produce useful energy, making it valuable resources.
Relevant nuclear power technology for the coming future is radically different from today's practice. Nevertheless the advent of the new technology may be accelerated from earlier projection of 2040 to 2020, taking into account recent hike in oil prices. In order to cope with the paradigm shift, it is essential to educate next generation leaders of top caliber on design development and associated capabilities.