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Gas Cooled Fast Reactor


Examination of the ETDR Engineering Decisions, Development of Proposals for their Improvement, Analytical and Experimental Studies of Properties of Advanced Fuel and Materials of GCFR Fuel Assembly in the BOR-60

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-EXP/Experiments/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-FUE/Reactor Fuels and Fuel Engineering/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-REA/Reactor Concept/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow


  • CEA / DEN / DDIN, France, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex\nAMEC NNC Limited, UK, Knutsford

Project summary

The Project objectives include:
  • examination and analysis of the existing technology decisions used in the ETDR reactor design;
  • identification of problematic issues of the design, development and calculational qualification of proposals for improvement, modification and/or supplementation of the existing technology and design features;
  • preparation of experiments on irradiation of ETDR fuel and material samples in the BOR-60 experimental reactor followed by post-irradiation examinations and creation of a database of fuel and material properties.

The ETDR – Experimental Technology Demonstration Reactor – will be the first gas cooled fast reactor (GCFR) ever built.

The ETDR shall become the key experimental tool to support the evolutionary pathway from the modular high-temperature reactor to the gas cooled fast reactor. This experimental gas cooled fast reactor is envisioned as an international project. Together with the other experimental demonstrations and development of computation tools, this project will contribute to substantiation of the GCFR design features and demonstrate the technology level needed to make a decision on construction of a GCFR prototype unit.

The ETDR design is characterized by the following main features:

  • low power level of the reactor (not greater than 50 MWt);
  • use of helium coolant with the pressure of 70 bar and outlet temperature up to 850oC;
  • employment of a progressive approach with respect to coolant temperature: fast flux is the first priority;
  • homogeneous core with fast neutron spectrum;
  • representative GCFR flux and fluence that will require an adequate level of power density;
  • experimental flexibility: short irradiation cycle, rapid cooling, adequate handling means under pressure;
  • safety by ensuring the main cooling function in all conditions by gas forced and natural convection (circulators; heat exchangers integrated in the primary circuit; additional helium circulation loops, etc.);
  • no energy conversion system (no turbine);
  • use of light water coolant under pressure of 65 bar in the secondary circuit coolant with heat removal to the atmosphere.

Project participants possess wide experience in calculations and design of high-temperature gas cooled reactors and fast reactors of various types, including gas cooled ones.

Project results will be used by European Commission (STREP), British NNC, French CEA and other partners in designing and construction of the ETDR reactor. These results could provide a significant scientific support in designing the ETDR reactor, help gaining a better understanding of properties and behavior of fuel and structural materials operating in conditions typical for a gas cooled fast reactor.

Project results will contribute to technical implementation of high-temperature gas cooled reactor technologies and bringing them up to the industrial use level.

Implementation of the project will provide opportunities for weapons scientists and engineers to convert to civil activities.

Implementation of the project will be beneficial for support of applied research and advancements in development of innovative reactor and NPP technologies needed for the future nuclear power.

Implementation of the project will allow acquiring knowledge that will serve to increase the reactor nuclear and radiation safety level at accidents and acts of sabotage, improve nuclear fuel supplies utilization efficiency, and reduce adverse environmental effects.

Collaborators should provide the Russian side with design information necessary for the expert examination. Collaborators will also take part in identification of areas, directions and character of experimental investigations of advanced ETDR materials and fuels, selection of materials to be irradiated, preparation and approval of a program of experiments and analysis of acquired experimental data.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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