The nuclear research institutes of the Visegrád Group countries (V4) (ÚJV Řež a.s., Husinec, Czech Republic; MTA EK, Budapest, Hungary; NCBJ, Świerk, Poland; and VUJE, a.s., Trnava, Slovakia) agreed to establish the V4G4 Centre of Excellence for performing joint research, development and innovation in the field of Generation-4 (G4) nuclear reactors.
The V4 is an alliance of four Central European states—Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. To decrease their dependence on fossil fuels, the V4 countries have decided to build their energy mix on nuclear and renewable, with a reduction of fossil fuels as soon as possible.
The support of the current fleet and more particularly the extension of their life operation with the highest level of safety remains the first priority for nuclear research organizations such as the 4 founding members of the V4G4 Center of Excellence. To prepare for the future, their main objective is the development of the 4th generation of nuclear reactors based on fast neutrons.
This new generation of nuclear reactors will meet the objective of a sustainable nuclear energy, based on the highest safety standards. Such reactors will enable:
minimization of the volume of radioactive waste and, through the transmutation of minor actinides, reduction of their radiotoxicity to that of the uranium ore in about 3 centuries, compared to 100,000 years with the current nuclear reactors;
uranium resource saving, through breeding, which multiply by a factor of about 50 the energy production from a given amount of uranium fuel, offering resources to several thousands years; and
non-proliferation dur to adequate advanced recycling processes.
The V4G4 Center of Excellence aims to:
investigate crucial aspects, in particular regarding safety, and generate experimental results for the development of Generation 4 nuclear reactors, especially for the concept GFR (Gas Cooled Fast Reactors) for which a demonstrator, ALLEGRO, will be built and operate in the V4 region in the 2020’s;
promote and popularize the potential, perspectives, technical, political and environmental issues related to Generation 4 nuclear reactors;
contribute to the preservation of nuclear qualifications by involving young scientists and engineers into its challenging research and development activities; and
facilitate the integration of nuclear research in Central Europe.
To reach these objectives, the V4G4 will rely on the scientific support of the French CEA, which has a large experience in fast reactors and has developed the first concept of the GFR.