Annual scientific report 1977

Josephus Proost, Robert Billiau, F. Kirk

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    In 1977, the European and international scene in the field of fast reactors was marked by two major events. On 5"" July 1977, a series of agreements was signed between French and German companies and institutes implementing the common policy agreed upon By the French and German Cabinet ministers responsible, on 13* Febiruary 1976 in Nice, with rejgàrd to the co-operation of both countries in the development of advanced reactors and of sodium cooled fast reactors in pàrtiçular. On 18*'' Mày 197'^, a; had abéady been signed by the highest administration officials of both gpyernments, fixiiig the guidelines of the co-operatipn. These guidelines were meritióned in the preceeding annual report. The 5* July agreements fall into two catégories: öne is related to R & D, the other to industrial activities. The signatories of the agreements on R&D are the French ÇEÂ ón the pne sidé and GfK-Ititeratom on the other, SCK/CEN and BELGONUCLEAIRE are Unked td the agreemwit by a contract of adhesioii signed on 29* July 1977 with GfK/IA. By doihg this, SCK/CEN and BELGONUCLEAIRE becamê associated organizations to the Francp-Germah agreement The aim pf the àgreement is to fully exchange between the partners all knowlëdge coiicerning R&D work on fast reactors and to co^ordinate futuire activities in this field including the use of facilities and equipment. On the industrial side, joint companies have bçen established. On the DeBeNe-side, a Nuclêar Systems Company KVG (Kenntnisverwertungsgesellschaft. Schnelle Brutreaktoren mbH) was created by BELGONUCLEAIRE, Neratom, Interatoin and GfK. Here also, SCK/CEN is indirècdy liiike^^ Systems Company by separate agreements, in this case with BELGONUGLÉAIRE. The French Nuclear Systems Compaiiy, SYFRA, and the KVG are partners in SERENA ( Société Européenne pour la IPrpinôtïon des Systèmes de Réacteurs Rapides au Sodium), a coiripany which wiU make the acciimulated technical knowledge of its constituent companies àvailable, on a commercial base, tp thè construction firms such as Novatómé and INB. The implementation-of thé agreements concerning R.& D is organized through a Liaison Committee. The DeBeNe membèrs of this Committee are guided by, and report to, a supervisory body in which all DeBeNe R& D'partners take an activé part. ^ The second evént was the initiative taken by the ; President of the Unitéd States to review thé position of that country in the nucleàr energy field. The light water reactoir was coùnted oti to fulfill, togethér with coal, the additional demand for eléctricity. The work on expérimental fast reactors, in particular FFTF, was to continue, but the work on commercial prototypes such as thé CRBR was tp be deferted. These décisions illustrate the will of the present Government of the United States tö prevent the próliferatjion of fissilè materials. Wheréas it seems to be possible to implement these décisions in the U.S.A/wluch s^^^^ have sufficiënt uranium reserves to fuel LWR's until the beginning of the 21" century, this is not the case for Western Europe. Another American initiative has been tó launch an International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation programme (INFCE). Out of the eight working groups, group 5 will evaluate the Fast Breeder Reactor and its fuèl cycle. Belgium has the cp-chainhanship óf this grpup together with Italy and the U.S.S.R. The conclusions of this study are expected to be àvailablè by thé end of 1979. The international scène is bound tb have somë influence on the orientatioti of the research programmes.' It is clear however that for the near future, óur research will continue to be concentrated on the different aspects of the reactor córe and the fuel cycle and on the use of BR2 as an extremely valuable tooi for testihg materials, fuels and reactor components even under extreme conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationMol, Belgium
    PublisherSCK CEN
    Number of pages183
    StatePublished - 1977

    Publication series

    NameSCK•CEN Reports
    PublisherStudiecentrum voor Kernenergie

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