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Sep. 5, 2022
Japan Atomic Energy Agency

Demonstrating Japanese HTGR technologies in co-operation with the UK
- Participation in the UK HTGR Demonstration Programme -

The Government of the UK has identified High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGR) as the most promising candidate for the use of nuclear energy for the decarbonization. The UK plans to promote the Advanced Modular Reactor Research, Development & Demonstration (AMR RD&D) programme leading to the demonstration of HTGR by the early 2030’s1. In April 2022, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy(BEIS) of the UK launched a call for applications for entities to conduct the AMR RD&D programme (Phase A Pre-FEED). Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), having a co-operative relationship with the UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in the field of HTGR technologies, applied for the AMR RD&D programme as a member of NNL team consisting of NNL, JAEA and UK companies (Lot 1: Jacobs, Lot 2: Urenco). On 2nd September 2022, BEIS announced that NNL team had been selected as the project entity to implement the AMR RD&D programme. The UK government will continue to support the project from Phase B (conceptual design), depending on the progress of each project.

1Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Research, Development and Demonstration Programme: Phase A competition (closed to applications) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

As global community moves forward to the decarbonization through the reduction of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nuclear energy as a decarbonized energy source draw much attention in many countries. Research and development for the commercial deployment of HTGR are becoming more active around the world as a next-generation nuclear reactor which has excellent safety. HTGR can also contribute to decarbonization in a wide range of fields, including hydrogen production, utilization of high-temperature heat and power generation. In Japan, the Government has declared that it will pursue technological development of hydrogen production using HTGR as one of the focus areas in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In the UK, a legislation has been enacted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050, with emphasis on the introduction/development of nuclear power (large and small sized light water reactors and AMR) that does not emit carbon dioxide. In December 2020, BEIS published a policy called "The Energy White Paper" based on "The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution" and announced its support to the introduction of SMR and AMR.

In co-operation with NNL, JAEA aims to advance Japan's HTGR technologies developed from experience in construction and operation of the High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) and demonstrate its HTGR technology in the UK to achieve international standardization and to enhance international competitiveness through participation in the AMR RD&D programme.

About the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is a ministerial department bringing together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, growth and climate change.

This funding forms part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Portfolio, which is dedicated to harnessing and rolling out cutting edge technology to fight climate change.
For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/energy-innovation

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