U-Battery, which is developing a micro-modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), has agreed to cooperate with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) on HTGR design, materials and safety evaluation.

"Both U-Battery and the JAEA recognise the importance of international cooperation and we’re looking forward to working together to further develop U-Battery’s potential to support energy intensive industries and remote communities,” said Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery.

The deal comes on the heels of a five-year cooperation agreement, signed 18 May, between JAEA and Poland's National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ), which is considering deployment of the U-Battery reactor. U-Battery said that if the NCBJ introduces a research HTGR from Urenco, Japanese HTGR technologies are expected to be used.

Kazuhiko Kunitomi, Director General, JAEA said: “We realise the importance of our collaboration with U-Battery and also the NCBJ to facilitate domestic R&D for early practical realisation of HTGRs. It is important to us that we are able to contribute to the development of commercially viable reactor technologies which could be used for new applications.”

U-Battery is a 10MWt reactor, which is being developed by Urenco, Amec Foster Wheeler, Laing O’Rourke and Cammell Laird. In March, the reactor was submitted to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for a pre-licensing design review. U-Battery also hopes to proceed with licensing in the UK "as and when it can."