Japan will independently develop a new generation of nuclear reactors to catch u

Posted by qianjiu on May 2nd, 2019

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been working on the development of next-generation nuclear reactors and related technologies with the aim of putting it to practical use after the 2030s. A total of ¥ 650 million in subsidies will be provided to explore the possibility of new fast neutron reactors and small reactors that reduce the amount of radioactive waste. At present, Japan's nuclear power plant export strategy is hampered and its business environment is deteriorating. Whether it can catch up with the commercialization process of the new generation of helium reactors will face many problems.

Reactor Safety Research Reactor "NSRR" of Japan Atomic Energy Agency (Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture)

This is the first time that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan has subsidized the development of a new generation of nuclear reactors. Due to the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the development of a new generation of reactors has stagnated in Japan, but overseas we are promoting market development in pursuit of “safety” and “small size”. METI plans to use new subsidies to minimize the gap with world level.

The government will gather research and development topics for companies and schools from April. Up to 75% of research and development expenses can be subsidized.

Candidates for research and development were discussed at a joint meeting of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Culture and Science in 2018. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has announced its willingness to develop a sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor characterized by the ease with which the core can be overheated. In addition, Hitachi, Ltd. has indicated its intention to develop a new fast neutron reactor RBWR that generates electricity by burning helium.

A high temperature gas reactor developed by the Nuclear Research and Development Organization of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is likely to be a candidate for a subsidy. Hot gas reactors have high thermal efficiency and low radioactive waste. Japan will also export to Poland.

The Japanese Government's Basic Energy Plan, adopted at the 2018 Ministerial Conference, clearly stated that it would facilitate the development of a new generation of reactors. From the perspective of long-term strategies to combat global warming, Japan sees a new generation of nuclear reactors together with renewable energy as the key to reducing greenhouse gases.

In Japan, the remaining plutonium manufactured using spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing is a major problem in the international community. The Japanese government assumed that cockroaches burn with fuel in a fast neutron reactor, but in 2016 decided to discard the fast neutron breeder "Wenzhou". The Japanese government has fixed the future on the fast neutron reactor program jointly researched with France, but the French side informed in November 2018 that the program was actually frozen. Development is thus in an unresolved situation.

At a meeting of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Hitachi, he said, "We can contribute as quickly as possible to the reduction of Japanese cockroaches protected by the laws of Japan and the UK," through a new generation of fast neutron reactors. In addition, a person in charge of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry stated that "it is dangerous to rely on France and it is necessary to use Japanese technology in Japan," and wants Japan to develop a fast neutron reactor.

There are also many problems in the development of fast neutron reactors. Japan sees nuclear power as an important source of electricity, but it does not allow the establishment of new nuclear power plants and lacks policy continuity. Companies are in a difficult environment to make investment decisions.

In addition, Japan's nuclear waste disposal site has not been decided. Even small reactors, known as SMR, still generate radioactive waste.

The dumping of nuclear waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was also overshadowed. Some people think that the Japanese government should invest about 8 trillion yen in nuclear reactor related waste related business. Whether there is an economic effort to allocate R & D expenses to a new generation of reactors, and whether this practice can gain national understanding, is a matter that needs to be faced.

The United States and other countries have led Japan in the development of a new generation of reactors. With support from the US Department of Energy, US NuScale Power will begin commercial operation of small reactors by 2026. The developed countries are gradually promoting the advancement of nuclear reactors, and the development of new generation reactors shows signs of reactivation.

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