Nuclear power takes a strong position on the world stage: the 440 large size reactors operating at a total capacity of about 400 GWe produce about 14% of the total electricity produced in the world. In Europe alone, the share of electricity production from nuclear power plants rises to 30%.
The use of nuclear technology for the production of electricity in many countries finds great concern among the public, exacerbated by the recent Japanese incident.
The events at Fukushima have led to a period of general reflection that is addressing the international community to consider the safety of nuclear plants not as a matter of each individual state, but an issue to be addressed jointly. However, the energy organization of many nations is based on a strong presence of the nuclear source and, in many cases, a further increase is expected. It is very likely, therefore, that the density of nuclear power in the immediate vicinity of the Italian territory is destined to grow.
In order to respond to concerns raised by the public and the long-term use of nuclear fission for the production of electricity, on the initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) the IV Generation International Forum was created a few years, which, with the technical and legal support of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), aims to create a framework of international research and development for the development of innovative nuclear systems (IV Generation systems) representing an effective response in terms of environmental impact (waste reduction), safety, proliferation resistance and economy.
The activities carried out by RSE in the nuclear field have as their objectives:
. For the short term, support public institutions for safety assessments of nuclear power plants in operation and the impact on the Italian territory of any accidents
. For the medium term, develop skills and tools needed for the safety assessment of future plants and their impact on the environment and on the electricity network
. For the long term, actively participate in international programs for the development of IV Generation reactors, as the ideal context in which to strengthen international links and keep skills up to date in Italy