Generation IV & SMR

Committed to the future of nuclear energy


Ansaldo Nucleare coordinated the EURATOM project ELSY (European Lead cooled SYstem) since its beginning in 2006.  The project goal was the development of an innovative pre-conceptual design of an industrial lead-cooled fast reactor for electricity production based on a closed fuel cycle for enhanced sustainability.

Following ELSY completion (2010),  in the frame of EU 7th FP,  we were appointed as  leading organization and coordinator of the LEADER project (Lead-cooled European Advanced DEmonstration Reactor).  The LEADER project was aimed at developing a conceptual design of a Lead Fast Reactor Industrial size plant (the European LFR – ELFR) and of a scaled demonstrator of the LFR technology called ALFRED (Advanced Lead Fast Reactor European Demonstrator).


The main goal behind ALFRED and Lead technology development is to maintain the nuclear energy source as an important contributor to the development of a secure and low carbon European energy system. ALFRED, as one of the projects supported by the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII), brings together industry and research partners in the development of so-called Generation IV Fast Neutron Reactor technology, as part of the EU's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). In the role of European Technology Demonstrator Reactor (ETDR), ALFRED was designed to be fully representative of an industrial size reactor, but with a reduced thermal power. Specific design solutions (e.g. no intermediate circuit, simplified and robust component design, compact size), will allow the collection of operational experience on LFR technology.  Safety of ALFRED is extensively based on the use of the defence in depth criteria, enhanced by the use of passive safety systems.

Our strong commitment and deep involvement in the LFR development was formalized through the signature of an unincorporated Consortium, namely FALCON (Fostering ALfred CONstruction), in Bucharest (2013). The Consortium gathers Ansaldo Nucleare, ENEA and RATEN-ICN, plus CV-Rez since 2014.

FALCON was aimed at managing the R&D strategic needs and securing the necessary funding for siting, licensing and construction. The signature of multiple Memoranda Of Agreement (MOA) between FALCON and universities, research centres and industries has further strengthened the LFR European community providing stability for the envisaged long-term program.

The Romanian Minister of Economy, Trade and Business Environment expressed the interest in hosting ALFRED and supporting the implementation of the demonstrator. ALFRED is considered a factor for economic growth, improved innovation, job creation, strengthening of RDI poles and creating the career opportunities for young talents.



In 2013, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) assigned the contract for the technical design of the MYRRHA research reactor to an international consortium consisting of Areva TA, Ansaldo Nucleare and Empresarios Agrupados. The Belgian company Grontmij will execute part of the tender as a subcontractor of Areva TA.

MYRRHA (Multipurpose Hybrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is an innovative research reactor driven by a particle accelerator, planned for construction at SCK•CEN's Mol site in northern Belgium. It is intended to replace Belgium's ageing BR2 research reactor and will be used in a range of research functions including the demonstration of the concept of transmutation of long-lived radionuclides in nuclear waste, as well as producing radioisotopes for medicine.

The FEED (Front End Engineering Design) consists of the technical design of all elements of the infrastructure, with the exception of the reactor itself and the particle accelerator. More specifically, it covers the technical design of all elements of the infrastructure of the first-of-a-kind plant, including buildings, cooling systems and instrumentation and control for the reactor and the particle accelerator. Its scope includes estimating the investment and operation costs for the reactor, validation of performance objectives and the preparation for obtaining an operating license.



In 2011, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launched an engineering project aimed at developing an  Accelerator Driven System (ADS) for nuclear waste transmutation. The CLEAR (China LEAd-based Reactor) proposed by the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST)  was selected as the ADS reference concept. 
The first step, namely CLEAR-I, of the ADS deployment strategy is a 10 MWth pool-type fast reactor cooled by Lead Bismuth Eutectic (LBE), capable of being operated both in critical and sub-critical mode.

The Design Review of the Conceptual Design was commissioned to Ansaldo Nucleare, as reknown company at international level, involved in the design of LFR systems.

Added Value & Competencies provided by Ansaldo Nucleare to the Client

  • our extensive and unique experience and know-how in the design, analysis and review of critical and sub-critical LFR systems;
  • a team of qualified, independent reviewers, with demonstrated experience in the involved disciplines, as well as in past and on-going similar Project