Workshop on Advanced Reactors With Innovative Fuels

ARWIF 2008

Hosted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)   

20-22 February 2008

Fukui, Japan

The purpose of this workshop was to exchange information on R&D activities and to identify areas and research tasks where international co-operation might be strengthened. It is the fourth in the advanced reactors with innovative fuels (ARWIF) series. With the renewed interest in advanced nuclear systems and advanced fuel cycles, this workshop has proven to be very relevant and important for establishing international consensus on research programmes.

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 deregulated markets. 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 currently 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.

The following topics were of particular interest to participants:

Workshop participants took part in discussions of reactor physics, nuclear fuel performance and material technology, reactor core behaviour and the fuel cycle of advanced reactors with different types of fuels or fuel lattices. Of particular interest to workshop participants were innovative concepts and issues related to the reactor and fuel, in particular fast reactor issues.

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 need for new experimental facilities. The conclusions of the technical sessions were synthesised and discussed in a roundtable on international co-operation to facilitate the introduction of new reactor systems. The workshop proceedings are currently in preparation.

Related links

ARWIF 2008 programme

Previous workshops in the ARWIF series

ARWIF 1998 recommendations (pdf, 91kb)
ARWIF 1998 proceedings
ARWIF-2001 agenda and presentation abstracts
ARWIF-2001 summary of the panel discussion and list of participants (pdf, 111kb)
ARWIF-2001 proceedings
ARWIF-2005 presentations

NEA nuclear science programme

Last update: 4 March 2008