The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems.
The goals adopted by GIF provided the basis for identifying and selecting six nuclear energy systems for further development. The selected systems are based on a variety of reactor, energy conversion and fuel cycle technologies. Their designs include thermal and fast neutron spectra cores, closed and open fuel cycles. The reactors range in size from very small to very large.Depending on their respective degree of technical maturity, the first Generation IV systems are expected to be deployed commercially around 2030-2040.
Australia joins the Generation IV International Forum
Following unanimous approval by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) members, Australia became the 14th member of the Forum on 22 June 2016. The GIF Charter was signed by CEO Dr Adrian (Adi) Paterson of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). With a staff of about 1 200 people, 250 of whom have doctorate degrees, ANSTO has a balanced mix of fundamental and applied research capabilities, with research facilities in the field of material science centred around the Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) reactor, a multi purpose research reactor that also produces medical radioisotopes. Neutron beam instruments which use OPAL's neutrons are used for characterising materials. In addition, ANSTO has several accelerators for ion beam analyses. In order to become fully engaged in the GIF's research activities, particularly in the area of materials for very high temperature and molten salt reactors for which ANSTO has expressed interest, Australia will need to sign the GIF Framework Agreement and its Extension.
Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Workshop
The GIF Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group (PRPPWG) has been working with the six GIF reactor systems to develop a sustained and structured interaction between the system designers and PR&PP experts in order to help the designers incorporate Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection (PR&PP) characteristics in different stages of ongoing design efforts.
The PRPPWG conducted a workshop in April 2017 with representatives from the six GIF systems to plan for the future mutual activities between the reactor systems and the PRPPWG and take further next steps towards achieving this goal. The workshop gave each reactor system the opportunity to discuss updates in their design since the previous workshops held in the 2008-2010 time period. In turn, the PRPPWG presented the current status of the methodology and information on how to incorporate PR&PP into the design process.
As a next step in this activity, the PRPPWG will work with the six design groups to develop a roadmap for future interactions on the implementation of PRPP-by-design for Gen IV systems.
43rd GIF Policy Group Meeting
On 13-14 April 2017, the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) held its semi-annual Policy Group (PG) meeting in Paris, France, hosted by the NEA. Participants at this meeting included representatives from twelve GIF member countries, including the ten signatories of the GIF Framework Agreement and Australia, which joined the GIF in June 2016 and is currently in the process of acceding to the GIF Framework Agreement. The United Kingdom, one of the first countries to join GIF but currently a non-active member, was also represented at the meeting as an observer, and was encouraged by the PG to consider acceding to the GIF Framework Agreement. The PG also reviewed the progress in the development of safety design criteria and guidelines for the sodium-cooled fast reactor and their extension to other Generation IV systems, as well as laid the groundwork for the 4th GIF Symposium to be held on 16-17 October 2018. Deployment challenges for Generation IV systems in future energy markets and strengthening interaction with the private sector were also examined, building on the discussions with industry experts and professionals from large corporations and startups during the NEA workshop on "Advanced Reactor Systems and Future Energy Market Needs", which took place the previous day.
On 13-15 May 2017, the 8th International Symposium on Supercritical Water-cooled Reactors (ISSCWR-8) was held in Chengdu, China and was organised by the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) in cooperation with the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA), the IAEA, the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) and the GIF SCWR System Steering Committee. The Symposium attracted more than 95 participants from 10 countries and international organisations, with a majority of experts from research organisations and universities in China. This year’s edition addressed recent developments in SCWR-based systems: small modular reactors in Canada, China’s CSR-1000 programme, and progress made in the area of thermal-hydraulics and heat transfer, as well as materials and chemistry.
The GIF SCWR Project Management Board (PMB) and System Steering Committee (SSC) meetings were also held this week. Members of the Materials and Chemistry PMB and the Thermal-Hydraulics & Safety PMB updated their respective Project Plans to include the contribution from China, covering the period up to 2020. The SSC and PMB members unanimously approved of China becoming a new Signatory to these Project Arrangements. The signature process will now be initiated by the GIF Technical Secretariat.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in the GIF website and in documents that can be downloaded from the GIF website is aimed primarily at the general public and at those that have an interest in the research and development of Generation IV nuclear energy systems. The opinions expressed and arguments employed in this information do not necessarily reflect the official views of the GIF or the governments or national governmental agencies of their respective members. The GIF or the governments or national governmental agencies of their respective members, or any person acting on their behalf, make no statements, representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or reliability of this information and none may be held responsible for any use that may be made of it.