Research programmes for the innovative designs described in Chapter 12 are described in IEA/OECD (NEA)/IAEA (2002) and Background Report for the Three-Agency Study (2001). Compared with the level of R&D investment in the performance and safety optimisation of current generation reactors over the years, and in evolutionary designs, the level of investment in future generation reactors is small at the present time.

To facilitate further research, it will be advantageous to set up collaborative international R&D programmes if possible. However there are many diverse designs under consideration and collaboration will only be possible if there are common interests in a particular field or topic. There are also the issues of commercial interests and the sharing of proprietary information to be addressed.

It is suggested in IEA/OECD (NEA)/IAEA (2002) that the setting up of a comprehensive experience database may be a useful initial activity in a collaborative relationship. Reactor designers could access this database to collect information on existing experience on the advantages and disadvantages of different reactor types.

Below are sections on the areas of research that are likely to be required for future innovative reactor systems. There are programmes already in place on research of some evolutionary systems issues; these are seen as a step towards developing the later systems. The discussion in these sections focuses particularly on the designs put forward by the GIF for Generation IV systems.

In summary, there are many R&D activities that will need to be accomplished before most of the innovative systems are available. The main technical developments for the Generation IV systems are summarised in Table.15.7. Some of these R&D activities have already started, e. g. for the nearer term SCWR and HTR concepts. SCWR activities have been ongoing since 2000 in the US, Canada, Japan, South Korea and in the EU, on materials and corrosion research. For the HTR concepts there are plans for the building

Table 15.7. Generation IV technology research


image101 Подпись: Super critical water reactor (SCWR)

R&D activities

The US Generation IV Implementation Strategy (2003), Newton (2002) and Institute of Nuclear Engineers (2004).

of a Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) at Idaho in the US for R&D as a step towards the VHTR. There are also plans for an experimental technology demonstration reactor (ETDR) looking forward to the advent of GCR technology.

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