Examining the safety of the next generation of nuclear reactors

Jul 20, 2011

Scientists from The University of Manchester have been selected to undertake vital safety work on the next generation of the world’s nuclear reactors.

As part of a consortium of EU research institutes and universities, academics from the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute will carry out research on evolutionary designs of nuclear reactors called Generation IV.

The 1mEuro 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 Program.

The outcome of the University of Manchester research will be key in defining the future EU research agenda for the successful implementation of this advanced technology.

Generation IV  reactors are evolutionary in design and so will be able to ‘burn’ plutonium created from the spent fuel from pressurised water reactors (PWR).

This will allow them to improve the efficiency of the fuel cycle and form an option for the UK when its expected new fleet of PWRs has been built and is operational – forecast to be in about 2040.

Being evolutionary, they will be the state-of-the-art in design and types of materials used and will have a high level of nuclear safety.

The safety claims will need assessing before their deployment and the objective of this project is to identify what the critical issues might be, to develop a roadmap for necessary research to address them and assist with the development of a safety assessment approach for the licensing of these new designs of reactor.

The consortium is led by IRSN, the French Technical Support Organization and has all the key European players involved in Gen IV reactor research. 

Professor Peter Storey, from the Dalton Nuclear Institute, will lead the development of a roadmap for FAST reactor safety R&D and, with Dr. Tim Ware from the School of Physics and Astronomy, will be involved in identifying safety features of Gen IV reactors, identifying accident initiators and disseminating findings of the project. 

Professor Storey 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 and involves the Institute in helping set the agenda for ground breaking research."

The project will start in early 2012 and last for two years. It will build upon other EC funded Gen IV projects that the University is already involved in and will act as a key step in engaging specialist expertise within the Centre for Nuclear Energy Technology (C-NET) in European projects that will grow as interest in advanced systems also grows.

Explore further: Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sustainable nuclear energy moves a step closer

Dec 11, 2006

In future a new generation of nuclear reactors will create energy, while producing virtually no long-lasting nuclear waste, according to research conducted by Wilfred van Rooijen, who will receive his Delft University of ...

Researcher studies carbon fibers for nuclear reactor safety

Dec 10, 2007

Carbon fibers that are only one-tenth the size of a human hair, but three times stronger than steel, may hold up to the intense heat and radiation of next generation nuclear power generators, providing a safety mechanism. ...

Manchester launches UK's largest nuclear institute

Jul 12, 2005

A century after Ernest Rutherford embarked on his research at The University of Manchester leading to the eventual splitting of the atom, the University is set to take another pioneering step towards the advancement of nuclear ...

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

15 hours ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

20 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

21 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Shedding light on solar power

Nov 27, 2014

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

Nov 27, 2014

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.