Nuclear power reactors

Nuclear power reactors produce energy by initiating and controlling a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Currently, over 400 such reactors in 30 countries provide about 11 per cent of the world’s electricity. The IAEA fosters an international information exchange and collaboration on technological innovations in different reactor technologies.

  • fast reactors

    Water cooled reactors

    Water cooled reactors have played a significant role in the commercial nuclear industry since its beginnings and currently account for more than 95 per cent of all operating civilian power reactors in the world. In addition, the majority of nuclear reactors under development and construction are water-cooled. Read more →

  • gas cooled reactors

    Gas cooled reactors

    Commercial gas cooled reactors are currently in use only in the United Kingdom. International interest in developing high temperature gas cooled reactors is increasing because they can provide efficient and cost effective electricity and produce high-temperature process heat usable for various industrial applications. Read more →

  • Fast reactors

    Global interest in fast reactors has been growing since their inception in 1960 because they can provide efficient, safe and sustainable energy. Their closed fuel cycle can support long-term nuclear power development as part of the world’s future energy mix and decrease the burden of nuclear waste. Read more →

  • IAEA

    Molten salt reactors

    Initially developed in the 1950s, molten salt reactors have benefits in higher efficiencies and lower waste generation. Some designs do not require solid fuel, which eliminates the need for manufacturing and disposing of it. In recent years, growing interest in this technology has led to renewed development activities. Read more →

  • IAEA

    Small modular reactors

    Small and medium-sized or modular reactors are an option to fulfil the need for flexible power generation for a wider range of users and applications. Small modular reactors, deployable either as single or multi-module plant, offer the possibility to combine nuclear with alternative energy sources, including renewables. Read more →

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