INPRO and GIF Continue Close Cooperation
Mar 14, 2012
6-7 March 2012, Vienna, Austria
Safety, proliferation resistance, physical protection and economics of innovative nuclear reactors will continue to be key areas of cooperation between the IAEA/INPRO and the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). This was discussed by some 50 experts of both organizations, who attended the 6th GIF-INPRO/IAEA Interface Meeting at the Agency on 6–7 March 2012.
“This annual interface meeting is a most valuable opportunity for us” stated GIF Chairman Mr Yukata Sagayama. “INPRO and GIF are multilateral international initiatives which focus mainly on R&D and a review of the next generation of reactors. It is very meaningful for both organizations to exchange information and cooperate, and I would like to promote further cooperation in the future”, he added.
GIF coordinates research activities on six next generation nuclear energy systems: sodium cooled fast reactors (SFRs), lead cooled FRs, gas cooled FRs (GFRs), molten salt reactors, supercritical water cooled reactors (SCWRs) and very high temperature reactors (VHTRs).
“It is my strong belief that safety depends directly on technology, and next generation reactors and the corresponding fuel cycle facilities will be designed to be as safe or safer and more stable than technology available today” emphasized Mr Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy and INPRO Project Manager, in opening the meeting.
“Advanced technologies and the closing of the fuel cycle through a transition from thermal to fast reactors will remain a high priority for the Nuclear Energy Department”, Mr Bychkov added and stressed the relevance of INPRO activities, including those related to the review of innovative reactor concepts for prevention of severe accidents and mitigation measures, which are expected to receive increased attention following the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Prevention of additional accidents is crucial for public acceptance and for the sustainability of nuclear energy.
“There was a tremendous amount of technical information presented during our joint meeting, and discussion of the next steps forward. There was a very strong emphasis on safety and there are multiple activities on safety of innovative reactors”, explained Mr Randy Beatty, INPRO Group Leader.
Many of the activities, such as the European Project on Safety Assessment for Reactors of Generation IV (SARGEN IV), the planned update of the INPRO Methodology and the GIF Integrated Safety Assessment Methodology (ISAM) are focused on the evolution of the safety approach and safety features of next generation nuclear systems.
“We have identified a new joint activity concerned with developments of safety design criteria for sodium cooled fast reactors”, said Mr Harold McFarlane, Technical Director of GIF. “This is very important to the Agency’s work in terms of establishing international standards and structures”.
At the end of November 2011, an important workshop of safety aspects of sodium cooled fast reactors was held between GIF and the IAEA.
“From my point of view, we are progressing mainly on the topics where we can exchange either information or work together. Our present wishes are that the future nuclear energy systems will be better and better; that’s the general objective”, noted Mr Pascal Anzieu, Policy Director of GIF. “What we are able to discuss between INPRO and GIF are some general methodologies we can give to the designer, researchers and the nuclear industry to promote those general goals and provide a useful toolbox”.
“We had very productive discussions, and we have developed a comprehensive list of action items from this meeting”, Mr Beatty concluded.
More information and all presentations are available at the 6th GIF-INPRO/IAEA Interface Meeting webpage.