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Technical Meeting on the Benefits and Challenges of Fast Reactors of the SMR Type

24 – 27 Sep 2019
Milan, Italy
Event code: EVT1803539

The IAEA defines small and medium sized or modular reactors (SMRs) as reactors that produce electricity of up to 300 MW(e) in total or per module (small sized or small modular) and reactors producing 300–700 MW(e) (medium sized). There are a number of different SMR designs currently under development, which combine the benefits of operating a reactor in a fast neutron spectrum with the added benefits of SMR flexibility.

Fast reactors, in addition to their efficient use of fuel, are flexible in that they can operate either as a breeder, to create more fissile fuel, or as a burner of plutonium and/or long lived minor actinides. Combining this capability with the benefits of SMRs in terms of power generation flexibility could produce increased advantages, although it could also pose challenges related to non-proliferation. Therefore, there is a need to identify such benefits and challenges of fast SMRs.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the development of fast neutron reactors belonging to the type of SMRs, to share the up-to-date fast SMR technology, and to identify potential benefits and challenges in the development and deployment of fast SMRs.

It should be noted that this event focuses only on fast reactors of the SMR type. It does cover other large fast reactors or other SMRs designed for the thermal neutron spectrum.

The technical meeting is organized in seven sessions covering the following topics:

  1. Core and system designs: innovative fast neutron SMR concepts and their associated potential benefits and challenges;
  2. Safety: technical benefits and challenges, including the inherent and passive safety features of fast SMRs;
  3. Modelling and simulation: challenges in the modelling and simulation of innovative fast SMRs and application of the simulation codes to fast SMR designs;
  4. Advanced fuel cycle options: benefits and challenges of different fuel cycle options for fast SMRs, including breeding and burning options;
  5. Coolant and structural materials: benefits and challenges of different coolants and their interaction with structural material;
  6. Techno-economics: potential economic benefits or challenges of technical innovation; and
  7. Non-proliferation aspects of fast SMRs.

Presentations delivered at the meeting are available here.


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