Workshop on Advanced Reactors With Innovative Fuels 

Hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory 
under the auspices of the NEA Nuclear Science Committee

16-18 February 2005 - Pollard Auditorium, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA 

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 is the third in the Advanced Reactors with Innovative Fuels (ARWIF) Series (proceedings available at this link). The first, held in October 1998, was hosted by the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, the second, held from 22-24 October 2001, was hosted by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd in Chester, United Kingdom. The proceedings of that first workshop and second are also available.

With the renewed interest in advanced nuclear system and advanced fuel cycles, this workshop proves to be very relevant and important for establishing international consensus on research programmes.

Background

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 other requirements related to long term sustainability will emerge.  These requirements have been outlined in the U.S. DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology’s Generation IV nuclear energy systems that offer advantages in the areas of economics, safety and reliability, sustainability, and that are commercially deployable by 2030.  The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) has been formed to advance these goals on an international level combining the research and development resources of the participating countries.  The need to establish sustainability of the fuel cycle to minimize waste has also led to the development of the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative in the United States and continued research in Europe under the 6th Framework Program. Under these and other programs, the sustainability of the nuclear option is being developed to ensure that it is a viable option for the long term.

Therefore, in this context, the following topics are of interest are: 

The scope of the workshop comprised reactor physics, fuel performance and fuel material technology, core behaviour and fuel cycle of advanced reactors with different types of fuels or fuel lattices. Reactor types considered were water-cooled, high temperature gas-cooled and fast spectrum reactors as well as hybrid reactors with fast and thermal neutron spectra. Emphasis was on innovative concepts and issues related to the reactor and fuel. In particular, Generation IV systems. 

Particular goals of the workshop were to identify research and development needs and 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 were synthesised and discussed by a round table on international co-operation to facilitate the introduction of new reactor systems. 

Related links

ARWIF 2005 proceedings
ARWIF 1998 recommendations (pdf, 91kb)
ARWIF 1998 proceedings
ARWIF-2001 Agenda and Abstracts
ARWIF-2001 SUMMARY, PANEL, PARTICIPANTS (pdf, 111kb)
Advanced Reactors with Innovative Fuels (ARWIF-2001), Workshop Proceedings, Chester, United Kingdom, 22-24 October 2001, OECD Paris 2002, ISBN 92-64-19847-4, 512 pages
Presentations made at ARWIF-2005




Technical Areas Meeting Logistics Technical Tours
Final Programme /Presentations
Last reviewed: 22 January 2010