Samuel Badman, U.S. Secretary of Energy, and representatives from Canada, France, Japan, and the U.K. signed an agreement to allow the five countries to research and develop next-generation reactors on a global level. This framework agreement will let countries in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) go beyond coordination of research and begin joint research projects all over the world. The agreement should let GIF countries conduct nuclear-power research more effectively by using resources and expertise in the international community. Other GIF participants include Argentina, Brazil, the EU, South Africa, South Korea, and Switzerland.
"Each of our nations recognizes that developing new nuclear power technologies will be indispensable in meeting our growing needs," says Bodman. "This research agreement will accelerate international efforts to develop nuclear technologies that will be safer, more cost reliable, cost effective, and more proliferation resistant than any technology available today."
The GIF partners have identified six technologies for development: gas-cooled fast reactor, sodium fast reactor, lead-cooled fast reactor, molten salt reactor, supercritical water reactor, and the very-high-temperature reactor. The U.S. will likely take the lead in developing the very-high-temperature reactor.