Euratom to continue participation in GIF

08 February 2016

An EU Council of Ministers working group has recommended the European Atomic Energy Community's (Euratom's) participation in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) be extended for a further ten years. The final adoption of this decision by the Council of Ministers is expected soon.

The working group published its recommendation to extend Euratom's participation in GIF until 2026 on 29 January. The move was welcomed by Foratom, the European nuclear trade body, in a 5 February statement.

GIF was initiated in 2000 and formally chartered in mid 2001. It is an international collective representing governments of 13 countries where nuclear energy is significant now and also seen as vital for the future. Most are committed to joint development of the next generation of nuclear technology. Led by the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK are charter members of the GIF, along with the EU (through Euratom).

The GIF recognises six advanced nuclear power systems as most likely to be deployed first. These are the sodium-cooled fast reactor, the lead-cooled fast reactor, the very-high temperature reactor, the molten salt reactor and the gas-cooled fast reactor.

Foratom noted that European nuclear research consortia are in the process of designing, developing and constructing four demonstration reactors that utilize three of these six technologies. These are the Astrid prototype sodium-cooled fast reactor to be built in France; the Allegro gas-cooled fast reactor to be constructed in either the Czech Republic, Hungary or Slovakia; the Alfred lead-cooled fast reactor to be built in Romania; and the Myrrha lead-bismuth cooled accelerator-driven fast neutron multi-purpose research reactor under construction in Belgium.

The Allegro and Myrrha projects are on a list of priority investments for the EU under the €315 billion ($350 billion) investment plan launched last February by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

The GIF Framework Agreement, established in 2005, was extended for another ten years in February 2015, thereby paving the way for continued collaboration among participating countries. In June, Russia signed a ten-year extension to its participation in GIF.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News