Reinforcing its focus on developing new nuclear power technologies, the US has signed a multilateral cooperative research and development agreement aimed at next-generation nuclear energy systems. The other signatory countries are Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
All are part of the 11-country Generation IV International Forum (GIF). Other members are Argentina, Brazil, the European Union, South Africa, South Korea, and Switzerland.
The GIF partners have identified six next generation technologies for development including:
the Gas Cooled Fast Reactor
the Sodium Fast Reactor
the Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor
the Molten Salt Reactor
the Supercritical Water Reactor
the Very High Temperature Reactor
The last concept—the Very High Temperature Reactor—is the current basis of the U.S. research program to develop a cost-effective nuclear system that will directly produce hydrogen as well as electricity. (Earlier post)