JAEA to cooperate in design of Poland’s experimental reactor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masanori Koguchi, right, president of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and Krzysztof Kurek, director of Poland’s National Centre for Nuclear Research, sign an agreement in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) signed an agreement Tuesday with Poland’s National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) to participate in a development program for the construction of an experimental reactor for Poland’s next-generation high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR).

The JAEA will assist Poland in the basic design of an experimental reactor with a heat output of 30,000 kilowatts, which will be built at the NCBJ near Warsaw.

The reactor is expected to be completed in the second half of the 2020s. The JAEA plans to provide technologies related to fuel production and safety measures, among others, for a total of about ¥400 million by 2024.

Utilizing helium gas as a reactor coolant, HTGRs use nuclear fuel to generate heat in the reactor core. In addition to power generation, the heat above 700 C can be used for industrial purposes, such as hydrogen production.

The JAEA has a track record of excellence in research at its High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), an experimental gas-cooled reactor in the town of Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Focusing on HTGRs, Poland, which relies on coal and other fossil fuels for electricity, has been cooperating with Japan since 2019.