Japan and the U.K. are teaming up to develop a cutting-edge nuclear reactor. This comes as fossil fuel prices are rising due to the crisis in Ukraine.
These new reactors, called HTGRs, offer a clean way to generate energy. Unlike old reactors that use water, these use helium gas as a coolant.
Helium makes these reactors safer and more versatile. They can work at very high temperatures, which is suitable for producing hydrogen fuel.
Both countries are putting their best scientists on this. They aim to have these reactors running soon, but the U.K. targets the early 2030s.
The project is part of a hefty US$484.74 million fund from the U.K. government. About US$945,000 is set aside for this Japan-UK effort.
Japan has already made progress with this tech. Their test reactor can generate hotter temperatures than other countries’ versions.
This partnership helps Japan gain valuable overseas experience. The U.K. benefits from Japan’s advanced technology, especially in making hydrogen.
The project has three main steps. First, they’ll study the design and size. Next, they’ll work on a detailed design. Finally, they’ll build and test the reactor.
These steps also look at staff needs and supply chain issues. An official agreement to work together is almost ready.
Other countries like the U.S. and China are also working on this technology. Japan’s Prime Minister is also interested in building such reactors at home.
Both countries agree to manage data and intellectual property carefully. This makes sure that the tech benefits both nations.
In short, Japan and the U.K. combined over 50 years of research. They aim to set new global standards for clean and safe nuclear power.