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The Gas Cooled Fast Reactor Project


Fast Reactors have a unique capability as sustainable energy sources, for both utilisation of fissile material and minimisation of nuclear waste, due to the hard neutron spectrum. The current interest is in exploring particular advantages of the gas-cooled fast reactor (GCFR) primarily as an economic electricity generator, with good sustainability and safety characteristics, but also capable of minimising nuclear waste via transmutation of minor actinides. GCFR could also support hydrogen production. This GCFR FP6 project is directed at the ambitious long term goals of the Generation IV Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) R and D Project: self-generating cores, robust refractory fuel, high operating temperature, direct conversion with a gas turbine and full actinide recycling possibly associated with integrated on-site fuel reprocessing. The project strategy takes full advantage of technologies being developed for V/HTR (via close links with the proposed FP6 V/HTR integrated project) but with significant extrapolations, if not breakthroughs, to reach the objectives stated above. Thus, it calls for specific R and D beyond current and foreseen work on thermal VHTRs. The R and D is structured into two technical packages specific to GCFR: System integration and Design and Safety, Fast neutron fuel, other core materials and specific fuel cycle process. A third specific package ensures the efficient interface with other FP6 projects. During its 4-year period the GCFR project will contribute a European perspective to key events of the Generation IV GFR programme, namely: the safety approach for GFR, the pre-selection of GFR reference design options and promising alternatives, the Preliminary Viability Report for GFR, selection of the Experimental Technology Demonstration Reactor (ETDR) design options, including safety design features, a contribution to the Safety Options Report, establishing the mission and contributing to the ETDR Mission Report.


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Booths Hall, Chelford Road
United Kingdom

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Participants (10)