Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor

GCFR systems have been considered in the past but were not developed. The GCFR is now being considered as a longer-term option in the second phase Generation IV programme (GEN IV-B) (Sinco, 2003).

The GCFR is one type of fast neutron system that is being put forward for use in a closed fuel cycle, thereby reducing the problem of long-term proliferation concerns (Overview of Generation IV Roadmap). The GCFR shares many of the attributes of the high-temperature thermal reactor with high outlet temperatures, enabling efficient electricity generation, hydrogen production or process heat applications. It has the additional benefit of enabling the full recycle of actinides minimising long-lived radioactive waste. Being a fast spectrum, it would utilise fissile and fertile fuel more efficiently than the high-temperature thermal systems with a once-through fuel cycle. Fast spectrum systems such as those based on GCFR technology are not expected to be available as early as the thermal systems. GCFRs are projected to be available commercially towards 2030-2050.

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