JAPAN RESTARTS ITS HIGH TEMPERATURE ENGINEERING TEST REACTOR
The High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), 30MW experimental high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) of Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has restarted its operation on July 30, 2021.
The test reactor is located at the Oarai Research Institute in the Ibaraki Prefecture bordering the Pacific Ocean northeast of Tokyo.
During the earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, the HTTR itself was not severely damaged, but regulatory requirements were enhanced in view of the lessons learned from the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. After the safety review by the Nuclear Regulation Authority in conformity with new regulatory requirements for more than 5 years, JAEA obtained the permission and restarted the HTTR without significant reinforcement.
As the momentum toward the carbon neutrality by 2050 has built up globally and a significant role of nuclear energy, especially advanced nuclear reactors, has been increasingly recognized, HTGR is considered one of the promising technology options both for power generation and hydrogen production.
JAEA will carry out the safety demonstration tests by using the HTTR under the framework of OECD/NEA project. Also, JAEA has a plan to conduct various tests to confirm safety, core physics & thermal-fluid characteristics, fuel performance. Furthermore, the demonstration plan of hydrogen production by the HTTR is under discussion. Through those tests utilizing HTTR and the efforts on the establishment of global safety standard we will make a contribution to the international community.