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Project Vision

Innovative GenIV fast neutron nuclear reactor systems with a closed fuel cycle will offer greatly improved sustainability. They will produce 50 to 100 times more electricity than current reactors from the same amount of uranium, thereby enabling natural resources to last for thousands of years. In addition, with advanced fuel cycles and the partitioning and transmutation (i.e. recycling) of minor actinides they will produce significantly less waste for disposal (in terms of volume, thermal load and radio-active inventory) reducing the time requested for geological storage from hundred thousand years to hundreds years, with a consequent strong reduction of the environmental impacts. Finally, they are conceived to address safety as the overarching principle, making use of passive safety systems and defense-in-depth design criteria. Among GenIV fast reactor systems, the (liquid) sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR) are the most mature technology; (liquid) lead-cooled fast reactors (LFR) are considered the next technology and present advantages in terms of passive safety and potential modularity, while gas cooled fast reactors (GFR) are a longer term alternative that opens the way to even higher temperatures and therefore efficiency. Consistently, in its SRIA the SNETP has prioritized the development of four fast Gen-IV systems in Europe. These four projects are managed and coordinated by the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII), one of the three pillars of SNETP, launched for this purpose in 2010. According to the ESNII roadmap:

So, ASTRID and then MYRRHA are the front-runners in terms of time to construction; ALFRED and then ALLEGRO should follow later.