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China and Russia to Join the Generation IV International Forum

July 13, 2006 - 3:03pm

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International Scope of Nuclear Nations Pursuing Advanced Reactors Broadens

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon today announced that China and Russia are expected to join the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), a group of the world's leading nuclear nations who are working together to develop more efficient and less waste-intensive advanced reactors to meet future energy challenges.  Earlier today, the GIF Policy Group voted unanimously to extend an offer of membership to China and Russia.  China and Russia's formal entry into GIF is expected to be finalized by November 2006.

"We are pleased that China and Russia will bring their considerable technical capabilities to the Generation IV International Forum as we work globally to develop the next generation of nuclear power reactors," Assistant Secretary Spurgeon said.  "As global demand for electricity soars, and as we seek to diversify our nation's energy mix, the use of nuclear power is becoming an increasingly valuable, large-scale, reliable, and non-emitting base load source of energy."

As a result of today's vote, China and Russia will join the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Republic of South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Euratom in the forum that was chartered in 2001.  Senior representatives from GIF participate in a range of committees that coordinate the research activities required to develop the six next generation nuclear energy systems selected by GIF in its December 2002, Generation IV Roadmap.  These six concepts are: gas-cooled fast reactor, lead-cooled fast reactor, molten salt reactor, sodium-cooled fast reactor, supercritical water-cooled reactor, and very high temperature reactor.

In addition to the acceptance of China and Russia, the GIF Policy Group also announced the selection of Jacques Bouchard, of France, as its new chairman, succeeding the United States' Shane Johnson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.  Bouchard currently serves as one of the two vice-chairmen for the GIF Policy Group.  He will begin a three-year term as chairman at the next GIF Policy Group meeting, anticipated to be held in Paris, France, in the fall of 2006.  Bouchard formerly served as head of the Nuclear Energy Division of Commissariat a L'Energie Atomique in France until his retirement in 2004.

"We look forward to working with Dr. Bouchard and the rest of the GIF Policy Group during this exciting time for nuclear energy around the world," Assistant Secretary Spurgeon said.  

Earlier this week, the GIF Policy Group honored William D. Magwood IV, founding chairman of the GIF Policy Group and former director of DOE's nuclear energy office, for his leadership in establishing the GIF.

For more information on the U.S. Department of Energy's nuclear energy programs, visit: http://nuclear.gov/.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940

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