The Japan Atomic Energy Agency today received permission from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for changes to reactor installation of the country's high-temperature engineering test reactor, in conformity to the New Regulatory Requirements. This marks the first time restart permission has been granted for a gas-cooled reactor in Japan.
The reactor with a maximum thermal output of 30 MW employs a high-temperature-resistant, yet large-heat-capacity graphite core. The High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) enables inherent safety characteristics of slow and limited temperature transient without fuel damage (core meltdown) even in a loss of coolant accident. The safety review by NRA against the New Regulatory Requirements has confirmed that no fuel damage would occur even in the event of a beyond design basis accident such as multiple losses of reactor shutdown functions.
The present success of having obtained the permission is expected to aid the ongoing effort of JAEA in developing an international safety standard that is based on the safety characteristics of the HTGR and which is important for HTGR commercialization, the agency said. The success is also expected to contribute to strengthening international competitiveness of Japan`s HTGR technology.
Following the restart of the High-Temperature Test Reactor (HTTR), a number of activities are planned to be carried out including the safety demonstration tests in the OECD/NEA LFC project, discussion on technology demonstration tests of heat utilization system consisting of helium gas turbine and hydrogen production facilities to be connected to the HTTR, an operation test of fuel performance, and international cooperation and human-resource development utilizing the HTTR. In addition, further deepening of research cooperation with Poland where HTGR development is being undertaken is expected.
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