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In 2002 the Gen IV International Forum (GIF) nations (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America) proposed a long term research and development program to investigate 6 promising new reactor designs.
The six design concepts are:
These reactor concepts are designed to address the energy needs of the world into the far future (post 21st century).
These reactor concepts are currently at various levels of development. The first deployments of Generation IV reactors are not expected until 2015. Most will not be ready before 2025. However the long term potential of these projects is enormous. For example one Molten-Salt Reactor designed to consume one ton of Uranium per year, could supply sufficient Hydrogen to supply 3 million passenger vehicles. The waste from the plant’s year’s operation would occupy half the volume of a typical domestic refrigerator. The radioactivity of the waste would diminish to background levels in about 500 years.
Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information of the American Nuclear Society
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