Generation-IV nuclear reactor systems
European Commission, Joint Research Centre Postfach 2340, DE-76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
European Commission, Joint Research Centre Westerduinweg 3, NL-1755 LE Petten, The Netherlands
Energy Research Institute@NTU, Nanyang Technological University 1 CleanTech Loop, 06-04, 637141 Singapore
Published online: 16 December 2020
In this paper, we provide a concise description of the six nuclear reactor concepts that are under development in the framework of the Generation-IV International Forum. After a brief introduction on the world energy needs, its plausible evolution during the next fifty years, and the constraints imposed by the necessity to address the climate challenges we are facing today, we will present the main features of the innovative nuclear energy systems that hold the promise to produce almost-zero-carbon-emission electricity, heat for chemistry and industrial manufacturing, hydrogen to be used as energy vector, and affordable freshwater. Potential advantages over currently available nuclear systems in terms of increased safety, reduced proliferation risks, economical affordability, sustainability of the fuel cycle, and management of the waste inventory will be critically discussed against the technical challenges that remain to be overcome.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.