Feeds

Anglo-French nuke pact blesses 4th-gen reactors

UK wants to take ASTRID home

The Power of One Infographic

The UK is borrowing heavily on French nuclear energy know-how in a pact signed today. France and the UK will extend co-operation to R&D and training in several areas, but the most interesting is the commitment to develop 4th Generation (Gen IV) nuclear reactors on the French ASTRID prototype.

ASTRID Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration is a sodium-cooled Fast Neutron Reactor (SFR) research design, and optimistic guesstimates hope it will be operational by 2020. The design is intended to burn the nasties – the actinides – recovered from used fuel. This should provide much longer operational life for the reactor along with fewer waste issues. Last year the US, Japan and France teamed up to co-coperate on fast neutron reactor (FNR) research, with the goal of half of France's capacity to be fulfilled by FNRs by 2050.

But the UK needs new nuclear capacity much sooner than that, or the lights will start going out. Seven of the 10 plants currently operating here broke ground before 1970, and four of those are due to be closed in the next four years. The new reactors currently under consideration are Generation III+ designs.

The new energy secretary Edward Davey claimed most of the construction and manufacture of the new GIIIs will be in the UK. You can find out more via this PR page.

Support for civilian nuclear energy in the UK has rise to its highest level in years - despite, or perhaps even because of, the Fukushima incident. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.