Japan’s Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) and France’s Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) have agreed to cooperate on the development of high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR). Japan’s HTTR test reactor has now achieved 30MWt power with a helium outlet temperature of 850ºC, and 950ºC is being sought. It has its fuel in blocks rather than as a pebble bed.

JAERI is working on how best to use the heat, particularly for thermochemical hydrogen production. CEA has been interested in such reactors for some time, and hopes eventually to build a fast neutron version. This cooperation is a further development of the collaboration initiated in 1992.

Framatome ANP and Fuji are involved with General Atomics and Minatom in developing a commercial scale HTGR of the same kind as Japan’s HTTR.