UK scientists undertake new nuclear work

Scientists from The University of Manchester have been selected to undertake safety work on the next generation of the world’s nuclear reactors. Named ‘Generation IV’, the new designs for nuclear […]

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By Tom Gibson

Scientists from The University of Manchester have been selected to undertake safety work on the next generation of the world’s nuclear reactors. Named ‘Generation IV’, the new designs for nuclear reactors aim to burn plutonium created from the spent fuel from pressurised water reactors.

Improving the efficiency of the fuel cycle will help the UK make decisions over its new fleet of nuclear reactors, expected to be built and operational by around 2040.

The €1 million project is called SARGEN IV, which stands for ‘Safety Assessment of Reactors of Generation IV’. The money has been provided from the EC Euratom Framework Programme.

Professor Peter Storey, from the Dalton Nuclear Institute, will lead the development of a roadmap for reactor safety research and development. He said: “Involvement in this prestigious EC funded project on advanced nuclear reactors is of strategic importance to the Dalton Nuclear Institute.
“It builds on our involvement in two other European projects in this area, draws upon our high expertise in reactor technology and nuclear safety and involves the Institute in helping set the agenda for ground breaking research.”

The Generation IV Systems selected by the GIF for further study are:

-Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor
-Very High Temperature Reactor
-Super Critical Water Cooled Reactor
-Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor
-Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor
-Molten Salt reactor

These systems offer significant advances in sustainability, safety and reliability, economics, proliferation resistance and physical protection.