The Global Outlook for Advanced Reactor Development

Dr. Harold McFarlane
Director, International Programs
Idaho National Laboratory

Third Way, a Washington DC think tank, recently published a paper on “The Advanced Nuclear Industry.” They reported that some 40 companies in the U.S. and Canada, backed by $1.3 billion in private capital, were pursuing advanced reactor designs. In spite of this impressive investment, North America is not the center of advanced reactor demonstration, which has shifted to the East, with Russia, China and India all building new prototype plants. The major international framework for cooperating on the development of new reactor systems is the Generation IV International Forum, which has been led by the U.S. for the past three years. This talk will describe the state of advanced reactor development, most of which is financed by governmental funding. It will explain the six broad classes of Generation IV reactors and outline the challenges of readying those concepts for commercial deployment.