Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Fuel Cycles

Current Status and Future Perspective of Liquid Metal Cooled Reactor Fuel Cycle

Contact Point: Uddharan BASAK and Gary Dyck

Development of Liquid Metal-cooled Reactors (LMRs) and its fuel cycle is of paramount importance in the context of improving nuclear fuel cycle technologies for sustainability. In addition, several Member States are evaluating various fuel cycle scenarios in which LMR fuel cycles would play a critical dual role of accomplishing transmutation of long-lived actinides to reduce the radiological risk of the nuclear waste and conserving effective utilization of natural resources.

Recognizing of the numerous activities being pursued in many Member States and to support and to enhance the capacity of the interested Member States in developing advanced fuel cycle systems, the Agency has convened a technical meeting at Obninsk in cooperation with IPPE, Obninsk during 21 to 23 Nov 2006. Twenty three participants from Seven Member States namely from Belgium, France, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and one international organization viz., JRC/EC from The Netherlands and around 40 observers from different institutes from Russian Federation participated in the TM. The Technical Meeting (TM) had 3 technical sessions namely on: 1. Current status of fast reactor fuel cycle activities; 2. Development of fast reactor fuel cycle: component technologies; and 3. International cooperation in fast reactor fuel cycle activities. There were 30 technical presentations in the meeting. In addition there was a panel discussion on "Necessity and possible procedures of closure of liquid metal-cooled fast reactor fuel cycle in various countries".

The meeting critically reviewed global development of Liquid metal cooled reactor fuels and its fuel cycles. Three technical documents on fuels, fuel cycles and structural materials respectively are advanced stage of completion and would be published by the end of 2009.

An international conference on fast reactors and its fuel cycle is being contemplated in the 4th quarter of 2009. Details will be updated soon.

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