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Gen IV and Transmutation MATerials

Gen IV and Transmutation MATerials

All Generation IV nuclear reactors designs and transmutation systems foresee in-service and off-normal temperatures beyond current nuclear industry experience.

All require relatively long service lifetimes for materials and relatively high burn-up capability for fuels. Also, most systems imply fast and epithermal neutron spectra, which will challenge materials performance with increased radiation damage.

This way, new issues and challenges related to the development and qualification of structural materials for core and primary components have been recognized as crucial in all these systems to ensure their safe and reliable operation. The objective of this collaborative project, launched within the 7th Framework programme EURATOM (Fission-2007-6.0.02: Materials for transmutation technologies and advanced reactors), is then to integrate, in a comprehensive and common effort within the European materials laboratories, the R&D activities needed to select and characterize structural materials with required properties for advanced nuclear reactor and transmutation systems in terms of irradiation effects, mechanical behaviour and coolant compatibility.

In the present proposal, key material issues related to the Generation-IV fast neutron systems have the highest priority. In fact, these nuclear generation systems are the only ones which can answer the requirements both of long term sustainability and of waste minimization.