Chirac Says Prototype Generation IV N-Plant To Enter Service In France In 2020

5 Jan (NucNet): French president Jacques Chirac today pledged that a prototype fourth generation nuclear reactor unit will enter service in France in 2020.

Mr Chirac’s announcement, which came during an economic speech to French industry leaders in Paris, gave no details about the specific design or technology that might be deployed, but he said: “It is necessary to preserve our lead in nuclear.

“I have decided to launch, as of now, a concept within the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), for a prototype fourth generation reactor that will enter into service in 2020. Naturally, this will be in association with industrial or international partners who would like to be involved.”

Mr Chirac referred to France’s advances in the field of nuclear energy and in particular to plans announced in October 2005 to build a demonstration unit of the European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) at Flamanville west of Cherbourg.

In a reference to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, which France will host at Cadarache, Mr Chirac said “the domestication” of the sun’s energy is on the horizon for the end of the century.

The president said it was now necessary for France to agree on a solution for the final disposal of radioactive waste. A public-consultation process on options for the management of France’s high-level radioactive waste and long-lived intermediate-level waste is scheduled to end this month. Mr Chirac said parliament would decide on a solution that would then be enacted into law before the end of summer 2006.

In a further “confidence building” measure, Mr Chirac said he had asked ministers to create an independent authority responsible for the “control of nuclear safety, radioprotection and information”.

Mr Chirac said it was also necessary “to build an ambitious energy policy at a European level”. He said France would present a memorandum on energy policy to the next meeting of the European Council – the EU’s main decision-making body, comprising representatives of EU governments.

France is a member of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), which was established in January 2000 to lay the groundwork for a fourth generation nuclear reactor that could be deployed commercially by 2030. Other GIF members are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Euratom, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, the UK and US.

Zdroj: NucNet

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