Several R&D needs identified by the Nuclear Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency and the World Nuclear Association, include:

  • Aging reactors and materials
  • Environmentally sustainable uranium mining
  • Long-term storage and disposal including deep geological disposal of high-level waste
  • Extended dry storage of spent nuclear fuel satisfies the highest safety and security requirement
  • Advanced recycling technologies to reduce volume and toxicity of high-level waste
  • Safety upgrades and research
  • Development of emergency preparedness guidelines tailored to each reactor
  • Encouragement for young engineers and students considering careers in nuclear energy
  • Optimization of Gen III designs to improve constructability and reduce costs
  • R&D and prototype development for Gen IV systems to ensure technologies are ready for deployment in 2030‑40[1]
  • New reprocessing technologies deployed in conjunction with fast neutron reactors[2]

Updated November 2020 by Kristen Johnson