Eight technology goals have been defined for Generation IV systems in four broad areas: sustainability, economics, safety and reliability, and proliferation resistance and physical protection. These ambitious goals are shared by a large number of countries as they aim at responding to the economic, environmental and social requirements of the 21st century. They establish a framework and identify concrete targets for focusing GIF R&D efforts.
Goals for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will provide sustainable energy generation that meets clean air objectives and provides long-term availability of systems and effective fuel utilisation for worldwide energy production.
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will minimise and manage their nuclear waste and notably reduce the long-term stewardship burden, thereby improving protection for the public health and the environment.
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will have a clear life-cycle cost advantage over other energy sources.
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will have a level of financial risk comparable to other energy projects.
Safety and Reliability-1
Generation IV nuclear energy systems operations will excel in safety and reliability.
Safety and Reliability-2
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will have a very low likelihood and degree of reactor core damage.
Safety and Reliability-3
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will eliminate the need for offsite emergency response.
Generation IV nuclear energy systems will increase the assurance that they are very unattractive and the least desirable route for diversion or theft of weapons-usable materials, and provide increased physical protection against acts of terrorism.
These goals guide the cooperative R&D efforts undertaken by GIF members. The challenges raised by GIF goals are intended to stimulate innovative R&D covering all technological aspects related to design and implementation of reactors, energy conversion systems, and fuel cycle facilities.
In light of the ambitious nature of the goals involved, international cooperation is considered essential for a timely progress in the development of Generation IV systems. This cooperation makes it possible to pursue multiple systems and technical options concurrently and to avoid any premature down selection due to the lack of adequate resources at the national level.