The nuclear power industry as we know it today, is largely based on relatively old technological solutions. As such, it has encountered many different operational problems regarding safety and reliability throughout its history, even though it has been subjected to many tehnical improvements. The problematic events were ranging from frequent and innocent, up to rare, but much more dangerous ones. It is those that have negatively influenced the public opinion and caused distrust towards nuclear energy. The most obvious example is Germany, which has decided to phase out all of its nuclear power plants in the near term. The fact that the waste produced with current technology is radioactive for a very long time does not help in getting more public support. Long-term waste management strategies are currently limited to disposal in deep geological repositories, such as abandoned mines or other underground locations.
These shortcomings could be dealt with by developing and employing the 4th generation of reactors, which brings forth the newest concepts of nuclear technology. This thesis presents the basic technical properties of the six chosen reactor types, along with the benefits and challanges that present themselves to researchers of the many cooperating countries.