Australia on 14 September formally acceded to the framework agreement of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). Although Australia has no commercial nuclear power programme, accession to GIF will enable it to take part in R&D projects related to Generation IV systems, particularly projects on advanced material. The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Ansto) signed the GIF charter in June 2016, making Australia its 14th member, and deposited its instrument of accession to the framework agreement on 14 September.
GIF was set up in January 2001 by nine countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and the USA). Switzerland joined in 2002, Euratom in 2003, and China and Russia in 2006. Australia is now the 11th party to accede to the agreement: Argentina, Brazil and the UK are not parties to the agreement and are classed as non-active members, although the UK currently participates in GIF activities through Euratom.
In 2002 GIF selected six systems from almost 100 concepts as Generation IV technologies. The six systems are sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR); gas-cooled fast reactors (GFR); very high temperature reactors with thermal neutron spectrum (VHTR); lead-cooled fast reactors or lead-bismuth eutectic cooled fast reactors (LFR); molten salt reactors (MSR) with fast or thermal neutron spectrum; and supercritical water reactors (SCWR) with fast or thermal neutron spectrum.The GIF Framework Agreement was established in 2005. Its parties are formally committed to participate in the development of one or more of these Generation IV systems.