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Michelangelo Network Competitiveness and sustainability of nuclear energy in the European Union (MICANET) Final report (summary)

Project ID: FIKI-CT-2001-20180
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


The need to establish a long-term sustainable and cost-effective energy system in Europe leads us to the conclusion that nuclear energy will play an important role in the future, the trend being to increase its contribution to the electricity generation mix and with a high potential to participate in the promotion of other energy vectors, such as hydrogen, in Europe. A consistent and increased effort on innovative nuclear systems is of particular importance: to address societal issues relating to nuclear power, including economic competitiveness, safety, sustainability, proliferation resistance, and radioactive waste management; to maintain and advance nuclear skills at the highest possible level in order to ensure the efficient and safe operation of existing facilities; and to provide a favourable environment for the development of the nuclear industry¿s next generation of skilled personnel.
Related R&D efforts are highly beneficial to Europe¿s high-tech industry and will help preserve common understanding of nuclear issues among European countries. They will keep the nuclear option open in Europe as a means of alleviating fossil fuel dependence and securing the supply of lowcost energy.
Taking into account the potential of different systems to meet the main goals, the Michelangelo Network proposes that the development of gas technology be made a high priority, first with the thermal-spectra very-high-temperature reactor, which is selected not only for electricity generation but also for its potential use in alternative applications. For the longer term, fast reactors - with their fastneutron spectrum - appear to be a good way to save resources and solve waste management issues.

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