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IAEA supervised a research project (from early in 2005 till late in 2007) on
innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles (International Project on Innovative Nuclear
Reactors and Fuel Cycles – INPRO), 8 countries with developed atomic power taking part
in it. The aim of the project was to evaluate a nuclear power system based on a closed
fuel cycle (CFC) with fast reactors in terms of its evolution, specification of
implementation stages and duration, providing a basis and a field for joint R&D work.
The countries agreed to use the commercial system CNFCFR (Commercial Nuclear Fuel
CyclesFast Reactors) as a standard in evaluation. The system is ready for wide
application in the upcoming 23 decades and is based on proven technologies such as
sodium coolant, pelletized mixed oxide (МОХ) fuel and advanced technology for aquatic
Despite the common fundamentals of the CNFCFR system, there are significant differences between the nuclear power systems existing in the countries participating
in the joint studies and between the strategies for their development, which is the
reason for the differences in the implementation of closed fuel cycle. In some countries
it is proposed that, besides sodium, gas and lead should be used. In addition to МОХ
fuel, consideration is given to a denser nitride and metal fuel, together with different
UPu, UTh fuel cycles.
Since 2000 many countries have been supporting development of G4 supercritical
watercooled thermal and fast neutron reactors (Supercritical WaterCooled Reactors –
SCWR). It is planned to have built demonstration reactors followed by commercial NPPs
by 2025. Development of SCWR reactors will bring about changes in working out AE
strategy as well as CFC process in some countries.
The report examines peculiarities of implementing closed fuel cycle in Russia,
implementation stages and duration, associated problems and possible ways of dealing
with them; it also proposes solutions for optimizing fuel cycle.

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