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Open for Registration: IAEA Fast Reactors and Fuel Cycles Conference

The BN-800 commercial fast reactor at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant in Russia was connected to the grid in December 2015. (Photo: Rosenergoatom)

Interested participants can now register to a major IAEA conference to be held next year, focussing on the latest developments in fast reactor and related fuel cycle technologies.

The International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles (FR17), to be held on 26-29 June 2017 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, will identify and discuss strategic and technical options proposed by individual countries or companies. Fast reactors have the potential to significantly increase the sustainability of nuclear power by extracting 60-70 times more energy from uranium than existing thermal reactors. In addition, when operated in a closed fuel cycle, fast reactors can significantly reduce high-level radioactive waste.

Since 1960, significant fast reactor development and deployment programmes have been pursued worldwide, bringing the knowledge on fast reactor and associated fuel cycle technologies to a high level of maturity. There is increased global interest in developing these nuclear systems because of their distinctive capability to provide an efficient, safe, sustainable and clean source of energy.

"The FR17 Conference is the most important event in the field of fast nuclear systems," said Vladimir Kriventsev, Team Leader of Fast Reactor Technology Development at the IAEA. "It's like the Olympic Games for fast reactors, every four years. We expect to see interesting presentations and scientific exchange that will contribute to further advancements in this important field."

The Conference will provide a forum to exchange information on national and international programmes, and more generally new developments and experience, in the field of fast reactors and related fuel cycle technologies. One of its goals is to promote the development of these technologies in a safe, secure and cost-effective manner. Another is to identify gaps and key issues that need to be addressed in relation to the industrial deployment of fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle. Registered participants will have the opportunity to visit the BN-800 reactor, the world's largest operational fast reactor.

So far, about 400 abstracts have been received for the conference.

A Young Generation Event, organized as part of the Conference, will emphasize the role that innovative nuclear energy systems can play in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 7, 9 and 13). The event will feature the "Young Innovator" and the "Young Global Leader" challenges, inviting participants to present their ideas for innovative nuclear energy solutions for the future and their leadership efforts to promote the next generation of nuclear systems. Interested young scientists are encouraged to submit their papers for one of the challenges, both addressing the theme of the Conference and keeping in mind the SDGs related to reliable and sustainable energy sources. The winners will receive financial support to attend the Conference. More information can be found on the conference website.

Following the first conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel cycles in 2009 in Kyoto, Japan, the second – and last – conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel cycles was held in Paris, France, in 2013. It attracted around 700 participants from 27 Member States.

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