iMAGINE—Visions, Missions, and Steps for Successfully Delivering the Nuclear System of the 21st Century
1. Introduction and Background
- Fear of accidents such as TMI, Fukushima and Chernobyl and their potential consequences
- Anxiety due to the nuclear waste problem—there is no final disposal. Thus we pass a problem on to the future generations
- Fear of environmental damage and CO2 production due to the mining of uranium
- Fear of proliferation of nuclear weapons and the materials required for their manufacture through the use of civil nuclear technologies
2. Vision for a 21st-Century Nuclear System
- Fuel usage, the related environmental damage and the uranium reserves
- The system-inherent accumulation of nuclear waste and the related final disposal challenge
- Safe operation, fear of accidents and fear of nuclear weapon distribution
3. Missions for iMAGINE
4. The Technology
- A stepwise plan to mitigate the development risk by creating an approach to deliver quick feedback, early recovery from problems during the development phase and, in addition, the capabilities and capacities required for the successful implementation of a new reactor system .
- Operational safety risk reduction due to a low-pressure system with significantly reduced accident risks and initiators and early safety demonstrations through experiments to enable lowering of insurance and off-site response requirements.
- Consequent use of inherent safety approaches to reduce the reliance on complex, redundant technical solutions.
- Mitigation of energy and resource security risk through the utilisation of materials that are already stored within the country’s borders and transforming the waste disposal problem into reservoirs of huge energy resources and wealth.
- Reduction of the nuclear waste storage challenge by achieving a new level of waste recycling and, ideally, harnessing additional accessible material resources as well as improving the chances of finding a final disposal site.
- Decreasing the instability risks in national electrical grids by delivering reliable and controllable, 24/7 net-zero energy production based on existing resources.
- Limiting the risk of proliferation, misuse and theft of nuclear materials by eliminating the enrichment process and the separation of fissile material in the fuel cycle.
- Eliminating, by far, the largest environmental damage by avoiding mining and conversion and even reducing the very long-term release risk from final disposal.
- Building trust in society whilst considering health and safety concerns.
- A zero-power experimental facility for fast and inexpensive learning and delivery, as the first step into a new reactor technology, the related fuel production and regulation, as proven in the past 
- A small demonstrator AMR, operating ideally within 10 years for an estimated budget of £1Bn.
- Releasing a factor of 100 more energy out of the already mined nuclear material.
- Reducing the waste per energy to 1% or lower, compared to LWR open fuel cycle operation.
- Reducing the driving forces for potential accidents as well as limiting the consequences of accidents.
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Country||Nuclear Power Plant Project||Construction/Completion Time|
|Germany||Emsland||6||Before TMI accident|
|France||Chinon B 1 to 4||5–6|
|France||Civaux 1 and 2||9 and 8||After TMI accident|
|Golfech 1 and 2||8 and 9|
|Chooz-B 1 and 2||12 and 11|
|USA||Watts Bar 1 and 2||23 and 12 (+9)|
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Merk, B.; Litskevich, D.; Detkina, A.; Noori-kalkhoran, O.; Jain, L.; Derrer-Merk, E.; Aflyatunova, D.; Cartland-Glover, G. iMAGINE—Visions, Missions, and Steps for Successfully Delivering the Nuclear System of the 21st Century. Energies 2023, 16, 3120. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073120
Merk B, Litskevich D, Detkina A, Noori-kalkhoran O, Jain L, Derrer-Merk E, Aflyatunova D, Cartland-Glover G. iMAGINE—Visions, Missions, and Steps for Successfully Delivering the Nuclear System of the 21st Century. Energies. 2023; 16(7):3120. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073120Chicago/Turabian Style
Merk, Bruno, Dzianis Litskevich, Anna Detkina, Omid Noori-kalkhoran, Lakshay Jain, Elfriede Derrer-Merk, Daliya Aflyatunova, and Greg Cartland-Glover. 2023. "iMAGINE—Visions, Missions, and Steps for Successfully Delivering the Nuclear System of the 21st Century" Energies 16, no. 7: 3120. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073120