Conference paper

The generation IV gas-cooled fast reactor

The gas cooled fast reactor (GFR) is a helium-cooled fast spectrum reactor operating within a closed fuel cycle. It combines the advantages of fast reactors, in terms of a more sustainable use of uranium resources and waste minimisation, with the wider applicability of high temperature gas reactors, in terms of high efficiency electricity generation and the co-generation of high-quality process heat. Other advantages like the absence of threshold effect due to phase changing, the optical transparency and chemical inertness of the Helium coolant are also acknowledged. Within the European Union, GFR is one of the three fast reactors proposed for development to the demonstration stage within the European Sustainable Nuclear Industry Initiative (ESNII). On a wider global scale, GFR is one of the six systems proposed for further development within the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). In this respect, France, Switzerland, Japan and the European Union (through EURATOM) are signatories to the 'System Arrangement', the instrument through which the international research efforts are coordinated. This paper presents the current status of the development of the GFR system. The status of the GFR programme in each of the signatory countries is summarised including the intended contribution of the newly launched EURATOM 7. Framework Programme project - GoFastR. France has provided the bulk of the effort on conceptual design, safety assessment and fuel development. Switzerlanssessment and fuel development. Switzerland makes significant contributions to the GFR system in the areas of core physics, uncertainty analysis, deterministic safety assessment and fuel development. Historically Japan has been very active in the development of the GFR system. Within the Generation IV GFR system, Japan contributes to the development of fuel and core materials


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