A progressive range of models and power outputs
AREVA is preparing for the future by working on Generation IV reactors and is participating in research on the reactors of the future as part of the Generation IV International Forum.
SFR: SODIUM-COOLED FAST NEUTRON REACTORS
In response to governmental decisions in favor of sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors, AREVA is pushing for the group’s acquisition of knowledge in this domain through the Phénix and Superphénix programs. Special attention is placed on coolant sodium in order to develop this technology to full maturity.
AREVA is leading an innovation and research phase in partnership with CEA and EDF.
The objective is to designate the principle design proposals for a future generation of fast neutron reactors by the end of 2012. A pilot for these future fast neutron reactors could be realized as of 2025.
The first milestone for this research phase was reached in 2009; it eliminated some options and identified those that were most promising in terms of safety, manageability and cost.
THE GENERATION IV INTERNATIONAL FORUM
AREVA is preparing for the future through its work on Generation IV reactors and its research on the reactors of the future, within the framework of the Generation IV International Forum.
The forum’s mission is to select and develop the nuclear power production systems of the future, by 2030-2035, integrating sustainable development criteria, including:
- economic competitiveness,
- resource optimization,
- waste reduction,
- resistance to external attack.
The Generation IV International Forum includes 12 countries: Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, the United States, France—via the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, Japan, the United Kingdom and Switzerland—and the European Union. China and Russia joined the GIF at the end of 2006. Currently in its conceptual phase, these nuclear power systems will be founded upon true technological innovations.
In this context, AREVA is preparing for the future through its work on 2 types of reactors:
- the sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor (SFR),
- the very high temperature reactor (VHTR).
VHTR: VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE REACTORS
This technology makes it possible to produce very high temperature heat for the industrial sector and hydrogen on an industrial scale, which is a particularly attractive option for the transportation sector.
AREVA is pursuing its research and development efforts to develop a very high temperature commercial reactor.
To this end, AREVA has responded to the United States Department of Energy (DOE) call for tenders for conceptual studies of a Next Generation Power Plant (NGPP) prototype. The prototype would be designed for the cogeneration of electricity and heat for industrial processes. AREVA and CEA worked to create fuel components for this type of reactor. They have been sent to the Idaho National Library (INL) where they will be irradiated.