The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) will continue participating in international collaboration for research and development of Generation IV nuclear energy systems after a recommendation by an EU Council of Ministers working group was published on 29 January 2016.
The final adoption of this decision is expected to follow “imminently”, a statement said. Foratom, the European nuclear industry trade group, commended the recommendation to extend Euratom’s participation in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) for another period of 10 years, until 2026, and to continue pooling efforts to develop new nuclear energy system designs. GIF was created in January 2000 by nine countries and today has 13 members. In 2002, GIF selected six systems from nearly 100 concepts as Generation IV technologies. The six systems are sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR); gas-cooled fast reactors (GFR); very high temperature reactors with thermal neutron spectrum (VHTR); lead-cooled fast reactors or lead-bismuth eutectic cooled fast reactors (LFR); molten salt reactors (MSR) with fast or thermal neutron spectrum; and supercritical water reactors (SCWR) with fast or thermal neutron spectrum. GIF said last year that for real long-term progress to be made in Generation IV development, advanced research facilities need to be built, the industry must become more involved, and the “workforce of the future” should be developed.