To maintain its role as a worldwide player in the context of an increase in energy demand at global level, Europe needs an energy mix which deals with the following challenges: increase security of supply, cost competitiveness and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions to combat climate change.
Since its launch in 2007, SNETP aims to:
- Preserve and strengthen the European technological leadership and nuclear industry through a strong and long-term Research and Development prgramme, involving fuel cycles and reactor systems of Generation II, III and IV types.
- Enhance Europe’s technological leadership in nuclear science and engineering by the production of scientific and technical skills to keep pace with corresponding industrial and R&D demand.
- Contribute to the production of synthetic fuels and hydrogen needs on the basis of non greenhouse gas emitting production sources in an environmentally benign and sustainable economy.
SNETP’s tasks are multiple:
- Establish a Strategic Research Agenda and a Deployment Strategy to ensure that fission energy is generated in a manner that meets the criteria for sustainable development in strict compliance with the safety requirements;
- Coordinate techno-economic studies to monitor the advances of nuclear technologies and EU needs, and the role of nuclear energy in the EU energy mix;
- Facilitate the integration of national programmes;
- Seek synergies and links with other technology platforms (such as the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Platforms) and interact with international initiatives in the field of nuclear energy, such as the Generation IV International Forum;
- Contribute to the creation of a European Research Area, by providing expert advice and recommendations to the Commission and national goverments for strengthening the European scientific base, integrating research teams and tools, optimising the use of existing research infrastructures, and creating new infrastructures (as needed);
- Promote a coordinated training and educational system for developing nuclear competence in Europe;
- Suggest topics for coordination of funding at European level;
- Foster joint initiatives between researchers, industry, utilities, Member States and the EU, such as joint undertakings, and foster joint projects between Member States;
- Disseminate the results of the above activities to appropriate policy-making and stakeholders bodies to ensure a common European vision; and
- Provide timely information about advances in nuclear energy to the general public. The activities of platform operations constitute the heart of the SNETP, comprising ongoing and future projects, networks and initiatives including relevant, supported via Euratom Framework Programme or national and regional programmes and initiatives.
These activities include projects encompassing three system programmes:
- Light-water reactors
- Fast reactors with associated plants of the closed fuel cycle
- (Very-)high-temperature reactors
as well as cross topics, such as:
- Innovative materials and fuels
- Simulation and experiments for reactor design, safety, materials and fuels
- R&D infrastructure
- Safety standards
With these objectives set, SNETP aims to achieve a sustainable production of nuclear energy, significant progress in economic performance, technology breakthroughs and a high level of safety.