France boosts burning efforts

30 April 2001

The French parliamentary commission responsible for evaluating science and technology options has recommended that the country becomes more directly involved with an advanced reactor programme which will enable a relatively rapid reduction in Russian stocks of weapons plutonium.

The gas turbine modular helium reactor (GT-MHR) it refers to is a General Atomics design from the USA which is being developed in Russia in partnership with Minatom, Framatome ANP and Fuji, along with some US government funding. It offers particular advantages for burning MOX in that it is claimed that up to 90% of the plutonium is consumed. The preliminary reactor design should be completed this year.

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