Energy is at the top of the political agenda. Energy technology, including nuclear, has a role to play in addressing the associated challenges. The Euratom research programme in the area of nuclear fission is contributing to the development of innovative reactor concepts that are more sustainable, intrinsically safe and proliferation resistant, economic and capable of co-generating both electricity and process heat. The need for such Generation-IV reactors is also stressed in the EU’s recently published Strategic Energy Technology Plan, and the development of these advanced systems is the focus of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform established in September 2007, which is at the cornerstone of the EU’s strategy in nuclear R&D and brings together all the key European nuclear research and industrial players in this field. The paper provides a summary of the present situation and prospects in these areas, with an emphasis on V/HTR technology.

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