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Reactors developed so far are categorized into 3 generations, with the fourth generation defined as a next generation reactor set for commercialization in 2030.

Major Safety Goals of APR1400

  • Gen. I : Refers to the early prototype of power reactor in the 1950s and 1960s (Shippingport, Magnox, Fermi 1, Dresden)
  • Gen. II : Refers to the class of commercial reactors built up to the end of the 1990s (LWR-PWR, BWR, CANDU, VVER, RBMK)
  • Gen III : Commissioned from the late 1990s to 2010s : improved in terms of economics and safety from Gen II reactors (ABWR, System 80+, AP600, EPR, APR1400)
    • Major features of Gen Ⅲ Reactors
    • A standardised design for each type to expedite licensing, reduce capital cost and reduce construction time
    • A simpler and more rugged design, making them easier to operate and less vulnerable to operational upsets
    • Higher availability and longer operating life - typically 60 years
    • Further reduced possibility of core melt accidents
    • 72-hour grace period, so that following shutdown the plant requires no active intervention for 72 hours
    • Resistance to serious damage that would allow radiological release from an aircraft impact
    • Higher burn-up to reduce fuel use and the amount of waste
    • Greater use of burnable absorbers ("poisons") to extend fuel life
  • Gen III+ : Improved in terms of economics from Gen III reactors; to be adopted from 2010s to 2030s
  • Gen IV : Innovative reactor targeted for commercialization in 2030 and having enhanced economics, a higher level safety, minimized radioactive waste and proliferation resistance
GEN -Ⅳ Technoligy Roadmap (US DOE, 2002)
  1. GenerationⅠEarly Prototype Reactors19501960
    • Shippingport
    • Dresden, FermiⅠ
    • Magnox
  2. GenerationⅡCommercial Power Reactor197019801990
    • LWR-PWR, BWR
    • CANDU
    • AGR
  3. GenerationⅢAdvanced LWRs2000
    • ABWR
    • System 80+
    • AP600
    • EPR
  4. GenerationⅢ+Near Term Deployment201020202030
    • Evolutionary
    • Designs Offering
    • Improved
    • Economics
  5. GenerationⅣ
    • Highly Economical
    • Enhanced Safety
    • Minimal Waste
    • Proliferation Resistant