Nuclear Energy


Nuclear Energy (Fission)

Session background and objectives

Nuclear energy is one of the important energy sources from the view point of energy security and CO2 reduction. In near term, light water reactor (LWR) will mainly be utilized, and thus, safe and long term operation of LWR is important. If we would like to utilize nuclear energy continuously up to 2100, development of innovative designs such as generation IV reactor is also important. In this session, the mid- or long term nuclear strategy of main countries and present status of technology development will be introduced. Subjects related to technology development and other issues such as regulation and financing will be discussed.

Source:Generation IV International Forum,


Yutaka Sagayama [chair]

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Assistant to the president JAEA (Japan Atomic Energy Agency)


Objectives of Nuclear Energy (Fission) Session and Status of Advanced Reactors Development in the world

Nuclear energy plays an important role in the electricity mix in many countries for the realization of low carbon society in the world. Innovation of technology and regulation for the sustainable use of nuclear energy are major issues for the international nuclear communities. So far various efforts have been made through international or domestic cooperative frameworks on advanced reactors development, e.g. Generation IV International Forum, IAEA/INPRO, ESNII in EU, NI2050 and GSAR in OECD-NEA, and GAIN in the U.S. In this session, we will recall the role of nuclear energy for the realization of a low carbon society and discuss the concepts and strategies of innovative reactors and fuel cycles under development in the world including breakthroughs and issues to be solved. I will also briefly introduce Japanese approach.

Sal Golub

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Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Reactor Technologies, Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy


Harnessing Innovation to Expand the Benefits of Nuclear Power

Expanding global access to reliable electricity is essential to improving the quality of life. Doing this in a way that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions requires a significant expansion of current, as well as new, clean energy options. The U.S. Department of Energy is working with the private sector and international partners to develop new technologies and innovative approaches to enable a significant expansion of nuclear energy to help meet long term climate goals.

François GAUCHÉ

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Director of Nuclear Energy Division, the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)


France, with around 75% of its electricity coming from nuclear energy, and with the help of hydro, solar and wind energy, is proud to have more than 90% of its electricity production that is CO2 free.
A sustainable development of nuclear energy is possible through the use of fast reactor systems that offer strong advantages: total recycling of Pu, a drastic improvement in U resources conservation, and a large decrease in the radiotoxicity of final wastes.
That’s why CEA is developing the ASTRID project, a 600 MWe sodium cooled fast reactor, in cooperation with public institutes and private companies, from France and abroad.
The progressive introduction of these reactors from 2050 onwards, will lead to a truly sustainable nuclear energy, respectful of earth’s finite resources.

Dohee Hahn

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Director, Division of Nuclear Power, Department of Nuclear Energy, International Atomic Energy Agency


Status of nuclear power technology development

While the nuclear industrial sector is trying to improve the competiveness of current nuclear power plant fleet, advanced reactor technologies and associated applications are gaining momentum at national and international level. A number of advanced light water reactors are under construction or due to commence operation, 3 small and medium-sized or modular reactors are under construction and many other designs are expected to be deployed by 2025. Among the most innovative concepts, fast reactors deserve a special mention as the only available nuclear technology able to fully comply with the sustainability criteria.

Koji Okamoto

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Professor, Nuclear Professional School, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo


Strategy of nuclear Innovation after Fukushima-daiichi accident from the view point of academia

After Fukushima-Daiichi NPP accident, the safety nuclear is the top priority.
The severe accident have to be practically eliminated (PE) for the post Fukushima Nuclear Systems.
Some of the Generation IV system will be a candidate of such systems.
Liquid metal cooled fast breeder reactor could be cooled by natural circulation even in the total blackout conditions.
High temperature gas cooled reactor could be cooled by radiation heat transfer, so that the no core melt happens even very severe conditions, including huge earthquake.
HTGR also can generate hydrogen, which can prevent global warming.
The Hydrogen society needs nuclear oriented hydrogen, i.e., carbon free hydrogen, for sustainable world development.


1. Role of nuclear energy in future and expectation to advanced reactors

  • Role of nuclear power to realize low carbon society.
    • Possible coexistence with renewable energy.
    • Role of baseload in future electric system
  • What is the important requirements on advanced reactors ?
    • Economics? Safety? Waste minimization?

2. Issues to be solved for continuous utilization of nuclear power

  • Technical barrier on the development of advanced reactors.
  • Other issues such as financing, regulation, capacity building, or public understanding.

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