Workshop on Advanced Reactors With Innovative Fuels
The purpose of the workshop was to exchange information on R&D activities and to identify areas and research tasks where international co-operation can be strengthened. It was the second in the Advanced Reactors with Innovative Fuels (ARWIF) Series. The first, held in October 1998, was hosted by the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. The proceedings of that first workshop are also available. A third workshop was held in 2005.
A new generation of reactor designs are being developed that are intended to meet the requirements of the 21st Century. In the short term, the most important requirement is to overcome the relative non-competitiveness of current reactor designs in the deregulated market. For this purpose, evolutionary light water reactor (LWR) designs have been maturing and are being promoted actively. These are specifically designed to be less expensive to build and operate than the previous generation of LWRs, genuinely competitive with alternative forms of generation and at the same time establish higher levels of safety. A new generation of modular, small-to-medium (100-300 MWe/module), integral design water cooled reactors are under development. These are designed to be competitive with nuclear and non-nuclear power plants, to have significantly enhanced safety, to be proliferation resistant and to reduce the amount of radioactive waste produced. A different approach to improve competitiveness is the re-emergence of high temperature reactors (HTR) using gas turbine technology to give higher thermal efficiencies, low construction and operating costs, inherent safety characteristics, and low proliferation risk.
In the longer term, assuming that the current stagnation in the market is successfully overcome, other requirements related to long term sustainability will emerge. Important amongst these will be the need to minimise the environmental burden passed on to future generations (or at least to ensure that the cost to future generations is in balance with the benefits to the current generation), the need to establish sustainability of fuel and the need to minimise stocks of separated plutonium at the minimum possible working level and to minimise accessibility to plutonium.
In this context, topics of interest are:
Particular goals of the workshop were to identify the roles which can be played by existing experimental facilities as well as possible needs for new experimental facilities. The conclusions of the technical sessions was synthesised and discussed by a round table on international co-operation to facilitate the introduction of new reactor systems.
Summary of the Workshop
ARWIF 1998 recommendations (pdf, 91kb)
British Nuclear Fuels Ltd
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