European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative



European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) constitute key elements of Europe's SET-Plan. They are industry-led programmes with the aim to boost research and innovation and to accelerate deployment of the technologies.

SNETP has set up a Task Force comprising research organisations and industrial partners to develop the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII) in support of the SET-Plan.

ESNII addresses the need for demonstration of Gen-IV Fast Neutron Reactor technologies, together with the supporting research infrastructures, fuel facilities and R&D work. As indicated in its Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda, SNETP has prioritised the different Gen-IV systems and is proposing to develop the following projects:
  • The sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor technology (the ASTRID project) as the reference solution, with the construction of a prototype around 2020 in France, which is strongly supporting this technology
  • As a first alternative technology, the lead-cooled fast reactor (ALFRED) with the construction of an experimental reactor to demonstrate the technology, in another European country willing to host this programme, and supported by a lead-bismuth irradiation facility project in Belgium (MYRRHA)
  • As a second alternative technology, the gas-cooled fast reactor (ALLEGRO), also requiring the construction of technology demonstrator in a European country.
ESNII was formally launched at the SET-Plan Conference in Brussels on 15 November 2010.

More information

To coordinate the implementation of ESNII, a Task Force was set up under the auspices of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP). The Task Force brings together technology developers, utilities, engineering companies and research institutions, and represents all members.

The missions of the ESNII Task Force are:
  • To elaborate and consolidate the ESNII roadmap (demonstrators, prototypes, main research and testing facilities), in terms of design, planning, budget, legal issues, intellectual property.
  • To support the preparation of consortia and/or any kind of collaborative agreement involving public and private partners for the implementation of the infrastructures, facilities or programmes necessary to develop the technologies up to the industrial phase, taking into account the expected times to market.
  • To collect relevant information of possible interest from international initiatives or the SET-Plan.
  • To provide any relevant information, proposal or assessment on any important issue for the progress of ESNII to the Steering Group of the SET-Plan.
Noel Camarcat, Special Advisor on nuclear R&D and international issues at EDF, is the Chairman of ESNII. Prof. Dr. Peter Baeten, Director of Advanced Nuclear Systems at the Belgian SCK-CEN, is the Vice-Chairman.

Additionally, an ESNII Executive Board was constituted with the leaders of the ESNII projects, for operational management of the initiative.

The ESNII Task Force is open to SNETP members only. Candidates must complete the applicaiton form and send it by email to the SNETP Secretariat (no signature is required).

The current ESNII members are presented below.

Interested in joining ESNII? Download the application form here


Wood is a global leader in engineering, project and technical services to industrial, energy, process and utility markets. Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler agree to join together, creating a new global leder in engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets. They now operate in more than 60 countries, employ around 55,000 people, with revenues of over $10 billion, all made possible by the Power of Three.


Group Ansaldo Nucleare has the complete responsibility for the nuclear business and has a sound presence in the new international markets. In Italy, Ansaldo Nucleare is recognised as the main company in the nuclear sector. The company’s specific missions are: Supply of new Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs); Service to operating nuclear plants; Decommissioning of nuclear plants and radioactive waste management.


Framatome's unique offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services. The group is also expanding its operations to renewable energies. Framatome has a continuous involvement in the development of new reactor concepts especially in compliance with the GEN IV objectives. Advanced studies and designs have been performed, dedicated to HTR and VHTR concepts, fusion and accelerator driven system facilities. In particular, Framatome has a long experience in the design and construction of Sodium Fast Reactors and is deeply involved in the conceptual design of the ASTRID SFR new demonstrator nuclear island, in close collaboration with CEA and the other partners of the project.


The CEA is the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). It is a public body established in October 1945 by General de Gaulle. A leader in research, development and innovation, the CEA mission statement has two main objectives: To become the leading technological research organization in Europe and to ensure that the nuclear deterrent remains effective in the future.


CEZ Group is an established, integrated electricity conglomerate with operations in a number of countries in Central and Southeastern Europe and Turkey, headquartered in the Czech Republic. Its principal businesses encompass generation, trading, and distribution of power and heat, as well as coal mining.


The CIEMAT, an Organism of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, is a Public Research Agency for excellence in energy and environment, as well as in many vanguard technologies and in various areas of fundamental research.


The Consorzio Interuniversitario per la Ricerca TEcnologica Nucleare CIRTEN was constituted in 1994 by the Polytechnics of Milano and Torino and the Universities of Padova, Palermo, Pisa and Roma with the purpose of promoting the scientific and technological research and coordinate the Universities participation to the knowledge development and collaboration with national and international Research Institutions and Industries in the study and practical solution of problems characterizing technological sectors like energy production, nuclear energy power and fuel cycle plants, industrial/sanitary applications of nuclear radiations, safety, physical and environmental protection problems.


The GeNERG (Genoa Nuclear Energy Research Group) of the DIME/TEC Section deals with issues related to the design and neutronic (by MC-based static and dynamic codes, e.g. MCNP6, Serpent) and fluid-dynamic (by CFD codes, e.g. OpenFOAM, Fluent, STAR-CCM+, etc.) analyses of nuclear reactors. Within neutronics, static and dynamic analyses of core and related fuel cycles are the focus of the research activities of GeNERG. Within CFD, the activity is mainly (but not exclusively) focused on the study of thermal-fluid-dynamics liquid lead used as a coolant in the GEN-IV LFR; a particular attention is devoted to the design and optimisation of the steam generators and the primary pumps. In the frame of this research theme GeNERG has actively collaborated with several Italian and European partners (INFN, Ansaldo Nucleare, SCK•CEN, RC-Rez, etc.), even in the context of international/European collaborative projects.


Empresarios Agrupados (EA) is a leading architect-engineering organisation in Spain with significant international experience, providing a complete range of consulting, project management, engineering and design, procurement, construction management, plant testing, safety assessment, quality assurance, as well as plant operation and maintenance support services to the electric utility industry.


As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle.


EDF is one of the most important electricity producer in the world. 86% of its production comes from nuclear power plants, with 58 reactors (PWRs) in operation at the present time. A tremendous experience is available on sodium cooled technology through the EDF responsibilities for the Phenix and Superphenix plants. For the Na fast reactors, EDF Research and Development Division is skilled in the areas of nuclear power generation systems and fuel cycle and is in charge of neutronic calculation schemes and innovative nuclear concepts investigation especially in order to assess the safety of the reactors .


ENEA is a public research institution operating in the fields of energy, environment and new technologies to support competitiveness and sustainable development. ENEA conducts scientific research and technology development activities that draw on a wide range of expertise, advanced facilities and tools located at its own eleven Research Centres, operating in support of ENEA programmes and the Nation productive system.


ENGIE is a global energy player and an expert operator in the three key sectors of electricity, natural gas and energy services. The Group puts responsible growth at the heart of all its businesses in order to rise successfully to today’s major energy and environmental challenges: responding to the demand for energy, ensuring security of supply, combating climate change and making optimum use of resources.


Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a higher education and research organisation KIT was established on 01/10/2009 as merger of Universität Karlsruhe, one of Germany’s leading research universities, and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, one of the largest research centres in the Helmholtz Association. Higher education, research, and innovation are the three pillars of KIT’s activities. The Programme Nuclear Safety Research (NUKLEAR) within KIT is recognized as a long-term, provident research activity, studying scientific aspects of reactor safety and the safety of nuclear waste disposal.


MTA EK is mainly active in the field of basic and applied research related to nuclear energy. The activities of the institute started in the 1950’s. The main research areas of MTA EK are reactor physics, thermal hydraulics, fuel behaviour studies, and material sciences, related aspects of informatics (simulators, core monitoring, etc.), health physics, environmental investigations, nuclear electronics and chemistry.


National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) with approximately 1,000 employees is one of the largest research institutes in Poland. The Institute started operations on September 1, 2011 in result of merging POLATOM Institute for Atomic Energy (IEA) and A. Sołtan Institute for Nuclear Studies (IPJ). The Centre’s strategic tasks include: (i) to support Polish nuclear power programme; (ii) to conduct basic research in physics in collaboration with world leading laboratories; (iii) to construct high-tech devices (mainly accelerators and detectors) for research, industry and medicine.


NNL provides research, development, technology and scientific services for a wide range of disciplines across all areas of the nuclear fuel cycle including strategic assessment, fuel production, reactor operations support, waste management and decommissioning. NNL is government owned, commercially operated (GOCO) organisation that provides independent, authoritative advice on nuclear issues to the UK government.growth opportunities based around providing quality value and service for customers and applying the best innovation and safety.


NRG is the nuclear centre of competence in the Netherlands. NRG develops knowledge, processes and products for safe applications of nuclear technology in energy, environment and health. This includes products, services and technologies for safe and economic operation of existing nuclear power plants and future sustainable nuclear energy systems.


IBERDROLA is Spanish public multinational electric utility company. Iberdrola’s business combines power generation, and gas and electricity supply. It manages its production assets, comprising hydroelectric, combined-cycle gas, nuclear and co-generation plants located in 40 countries, mainly in Europe, North America and Latin America.


The Institute for Nuclear Research Pitesti (ICN) has as main activity objective the scientific research, the fundamental and applied technological development, the exploitation of its own research through technology transfer, design, investments, consultancy, expertise and technical specialized assistance, subordinated to ensuring the scientific and technical support for Romania's nuclear energy sector.


The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) is a Foundation of Public Utility (FPU), with a legal status according to private law, under the tutorial of the Belgian Federal Minister in charge of energy. SCK•CEN has about 650 employees, of which one third has an academic degree. SCK•CENs main competences are found in nuclear materials research, development of innovative nuclear systems, nuclear waste research and environmental and health research in connection with nuclear radiation.


ÚJV Řež a.s., founded in 1955, is a scientific & research engineering company focused on the usage of nuclear technology. The Institute mainly concentrates its activities on R&D and designing services for operators and suppliers of power installations. ÚJV has experience mainly in NPP safety & lifetime management (mainly for VVERs), radiolysis & water chemistry effects in NPPs, nuclear medicine, and also in fuel reprocessing. Its former experience covers also heavy-watermoderated gas-cooled reactors and liquid metal fast breeder reactors.


The Technical University of Valencia (is a Spanish university located in Valencia, with a focus on science and technology. The university has a large experience in contracts and projects inside the Nuclear Field.


VUJE, a.s. is an engineering company that performs design, supply, implementation, research and training activities, particularly in the field of nuclear and conventional power generation. The VUJE, a.s. provides research and development background for safe, reliable and economical operation of nuclear facilities. It executes scientific management of nuclear power plant commissioning.


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. VTT has a national mandate in Finland. They use their research and knowledge to provide expert services for domestic and international customers and partners, serving both private and public sectors.

INSPYRE will focus on the investigation of fast reactor MOX fuel to support the development and qualification of the fuels for the future generation of reactors. The objectives of INSPYRE will be achieved by a well-balanced consortium from universities, research and industrial organisations already collaborating in the EERA JPNM, further augmented by a dedicated user group stemming from ESNII representatives, utilities and fuel vendors.

To improve the public acceptance of nuclear power and secure its future role in Europe, the significantly higher safety of new reactors compared to traditional reactors has to be demonstrated. As a follow-up to the FP7 CP-ESFR project, ESFR-SMART (European Sodium Fast Reactor Safety Measures Assessment and Research Tools) focuses on the GIF goals that relate to safety, is in line with the ESNII roadmap and will be carried out in close cooperation with the ASTRID programme. The project gathers a consortium of research centres, industries, universities, TSOs and SMEs and aims to enhance the safety of Generation-IV Sodium Fast Reactors (SFR), in particular the commercial-size European Sodium Fast Reactor (ESFR). The project officially started in September 2017 and is coordinated by PSI.

The thermal-hydraulics Simulations and Experiments for the Safety Assessment of MEtal cooled reactors (SESAME) project supports the development of European liquid metal-cooled reactors. It will provide new experimental results and improved numerical approaches, allowing system designers to improve the safety of equipment, which will lead to enhanced safety and culture.

The general objective of GEMMA Project is to qualify and codify the selected structural materials for the construction of Generation IV reactors, as envisaged within the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII). The structural materials, to be considered in the GEMMA project, are those selected by the designers of the ESNII systems for fuel cladding and, in some cases, for the main vessel and the internals.

Improved Nuclear SIte characterisation for waste minimisation in Decommissioning and Dismantling operations under constrained EnviRonment (INSIDER). Launched in June 2017, INSIDER aims to develop and validate a new and improved integrated characterisation methodology and strategy during nuclear decommissioning and dismantling operations (D&D) of nuclear power plants, post accidental land remediation or nuclear facilities under constrained environments. Indeed, new methodologies are necessary for the accurate initial estimation of contaminated materials, resulting waste volumes and timely planning. To address this challenge, INSIDER will develop a common applicable approach based on advanced statistics and modelling, innovative analytical and measurement methods, and the results of three case studies.



The European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII) addresses the need for demonstration of Generation IV Fast Neutron Reactor technologies, together with supporting research infrastructures, fuel facilities and R&D work. The main goal of ESNII is to design, license, construct, commission and put into operation before 2025 the Sodium Fast Reactor (SFR) Prototype reactor called ASTRID and the flexible fast spectrum irradiation facility MYRRHA. The ALFRED demonstrator for Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (LFR), and ALLEGRO for Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) technologies are also part of the roadmap.

ADRIANA (ADvanced Reactor Initiative And Network Arrangement) is a rolex replica coordination action supported by the Euratom 7th Framework Programme, dedicated to the mapping and gap analysis of research infrastructures in support of the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial rolex brevet replica Initiative: "ESNII" established under the umbrella of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP).


The Specific Support Action (SSA) named "Roadmap for a European Innovative SOdium cooled FAst Reactor – EISOFAR" aimed at enabling European stakeholders to define their specific R&D strategic objectives for a fourth generation European Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (ESFR).The large integrated Collaborative Project on European Sodium Fast Reactor (CP-ESFR) logically followed this action by further identifying, organising and implementing a significant part of the needed R&D effort.

The LEADER project dealt with the development of a scaled demonstrator of the LFR technology to a conceptual level of a Lead Fast Reactor Industrial size plant. The proposal was based on previous achievements obtained in the ELSY project under the 6th FP of the EU. It also took into account the indications emerged from the European Strategic Research Agenda as well as the main goals of the European Industrial Initiative on Fission.

Central Design Team (CDT) for a Fast-spectrum Transmutation Experimental Facility was a European Atomic Energy community (EURATOM) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) project aiming to design a fast spectrum transmutation facility (FASTEF) able to demonstrate efficient transmutation and associated technology through a system working in subcritical mode, namely the accelerator driven system (ADS), and/or critical mode.

GOFASTR on Cordis
The GOFASTR project concentrated on the GFR option with a view to developing the GFR as a more sustainable version of the very high-temperature reactor (VHTR), also one of the six Gen IV systems. The design goals for GFR are ambitious, aiming for a core outlet temperature of around 850 degrees Celsius, a compact core with a power density of about 100 MWth / m3, a low enough plutonium (Pu) inventory to allow wide deployment, a self-sustaining core in terms of Pu consumption and a proliferation resistant core that does not use specific Pu breeding elements.

ESNII Publications

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