Support for Innovative Fast Reactor Technology
Development and Deployment

Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR)

Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, India: construction initiated
in October 2004

China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR)

China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), first grid connection
on 21 July 2011

The Russian sodium-cooled fast reactor BN-800

The Russian sodium-cooled fast reactor BN-800: construction initiated
in July 2006

Search Fast Reactor documents in IAEA INIS Collection

It is generally recognized that long term development of nuclear power as a part of the world's future energy mix will require fast reactor technology with closed fuel cycle. The fast neutron spectrum allows fast reactors to increase the energy yield from natural uranium by a factor of sixty to seventy compared to thermal reactors, granting therefore realization of nuclear power programmes for thousands of years, as well as a significant improvement of nuclear waste management. It is for these reasons that fast reactors have been under development for decades in several countries, primarily as breeders and, in recent years, also as High-Level Waste burners.

The Japanese loop-type sodium-cooled fast reactor Monju

The Japanese loop-type sodium-cooled fast reactor Monju

The necessary condition for successful deployment in the near and mid-term is the understanding and assessment of technological and design options, based on both past knowledge and experience, as well as on scientific and technological research efforts.

With regard to the first, the design and operation of several sodium-cooled fast reactors, such as the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) in USA, the small size Prototype Fast Reactor in the United Kingdom, the prototype Phénix in France, the BN-350 in Kazakhstan, the demonstration plant BN-600 in Russia, Monju in Japan, the commercial size Superphénix in France, etc. have provided an operational experience base of about 400 reactor-years. In addition, there is a considerable base of experience with lead-bismuth (eutectic) cooled propulsion (submarine) reactors operated in Russia.

The Russian sodium-cooled fast reactor BN-600

The Russian sodium-cooled fast reactor BN-600
In operation since 1980

Examples of current sodium-cooled fast reactors are the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), which has been connected to the grid in July 2011, the Russian BN-800 and the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) in India, both under construction.

Besides current fast reactors construction projects, several countries are engaged in intense research and development programmes for the development of fast reactors innovative (GENIV) concepts. In order to establish multilateral international cooperative frameworks to carry out R&D in support to the next generation nuclear reactors, the following initiatives have been launched:

  • the Generation IV International forum (GIF)
  • the IAEA - International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO)
  • European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII)

Areas of interest for international collaboration are identified by Member States through participation in the IAEA Nuclear Energy Department's Technical Working Group on Fast Reactors (TWG-FR). The TWG-FR consists in a group of experts to provide advice and support programme implementation, reflecting a global network of excellence and expertise in the area of advanced technologies and R&D for fast reactors and sub-critical hybrid .

Fast Reactors Data (as of December 2014)

Fast Reactors in the World (experimental, demonstration and power reactors)  
Number of units in operation/non-permanent shutdown 6
Number of units under commissioning 2
Number of countries with/constructing fast reactors 4

Meetings and Conferences


Date Meeting Location
26-28 Jan Consultancy Meeting to Develop Specification for a Fast Reactor Basic Principles Simulator and Discuss a Strategy to Acquire Such a Product IAEA, Vienna, Austria
26-29 Apr Fourth Research Coordination Meeting on Benchmark Analyses of an EBR-II Shutdown Heat Removal Test IAEA, Vienna, Austria
03-06 May First Research Coordination Meeting on Radioactive Release from the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor under Severe Accident Conditions IAEA, Vienna, Austria
16-20 May 49th Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Fast Reactors (TWG-FR) Buenos Aires, Argentina
11 Jul Consultancy Meeting on Defining the General Structure of the FR17 Conference with the International Advisory Committee (IAC) IAEA, Vienna, Austria
14-15 Nov Sixth Joint IAEA-GIF Technical Meeting/Workshop on the Safety of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors IAEA, Vienna, Austria
29 Aug - 02 Sep Joint ICTP-IAEA Workshop on the Physics and Technology of Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems for Sustainable Development Trieste, Italy

Please click here to see past FR meetings and conferences

Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs)

CRPs recently completed

CRPs in progress

CRPs planned
  • Benchmark analysis of a turbine trip test in Monju


Recent Publications
  • IAEA TECDOC  1766 (2015)Status of Accelerator Driven Systems Research and Technology Development
  • Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles: Safe Technologies and Sustainable Scenarios (FR13)
    Proceedings of an International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles, Paris, France, 4–7 March 2013, published in 2015
  • IAEA TECDOC  1754 (2014) Benchmark analyses of Sodium Natural Convection in the Upper Plenum of the Monju reactor Vessel- Final report of a Coordinated Research Project 2008-2012
  • IAEA TECDOC 1742 (2014) Benchmark analyses on the control rod withdrawal test performed during the PHENIX end-of-life experiments
  • IAEA TECDOC 1700 (2013) BN-600 MOX Core Benchmark Analysis
    (Results from Phases 4 and 6 of a Coordinated Research Project on Updated Codes and Methods to Reduce the Calculational Uncertainties of the LMFR Reactivity Effects)
  • IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NP-T-1.9 (2013) Design Features and Operating Experience of Experimental Fast Reactors
  • Booklet Status of innovative fast reactors designs and concepts
  • IAEA TECDOC 1703 (2013) Benchmark Analyses on the Natural Circulation Test Performed during the PHENIX End-of-life Experiments
  • IAEA TECDOC 1691 (2013) Status of Fast Reactor Research and Technology Development
  • IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NP-T-1.6 (2012) Liquid Metal Coolants for Fast Reactors (Reactors Cooled by Sodium, Lead and Lead-bismuth Eutectic)
  • IAEA TECDOC 1623 (2010) BN-600 Hybrid Core Benchmark Analyses
  • Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles: Challenges and Opportunities (FR09)
    Proceedings of the International Conference Held in Kyoto, Japan, 7-11 December 2009, published in 2011
  • IAEA TECDOC 1626 (2009) Advanced Reactor Technology Options for Utilization and Transmutation of Actinides in Spent Nuclear Fuel
  • IAEA TECDOC 1633 (2009) Decommissioning of Fast Reactors after Sodium Draining
  • IAEA TECDOC 1569 (2007) Liquid Metal Cooled Reactors: Experience in Design and Operation
  • IAEA TECDOC 1520 (2006) Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Heavy Liquid Metal Thermal Hydraulics
  • IAEA TECDOC 1531 (2006) Fast Reactor Database - 2006 Update

Publications under preparation
  • Lessons Learned from the Operational Experience with Fast Reactor Equipment and Systems
  • Accelerator Driven Systems - Energy Generation and Transmutation of Nuclear Waste. Status Report
  • Final report of the CRP “Analytical and experimental benchmark analyses of accelerator driven systems”
  • Catalogue on Experimental Facilities for the Development and Deployment of Liquid Metal Cooled Fast Neutron Systems

Please contact NENP Technology Development Section - Contact Point if you have any questions.