Japan firms expand deal with US’ TerraPower for SFR development
The MoU expanded the role of all four parties in the creation of a standard reactor design.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Mitsubishi FBR Systems (MFBR), and TerraPower extended their memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the expansion of sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) technologies over the region.
The expansion of the deal will allow TerraPower and the partner firms to coordinate on a standard reactor design concept, derived from Japan’s FR demonstration programme and TerraPower’s existing technologies.
Several parts of the MOU were also updated, including the improved size of the NatriumTM design for seamless cost-competitiveness and the metal fuel safety of the reactors.
The deal was first signed in January 2022. By December 2022, the Japanese government modified its “Strategic Roadmap” for the development of fast reactors, with an expected start of its concept design by 2024.
“In order to achieve our climate goals, countries across the world are going to need to deploy advanced reactors starting in the 2030s, and this agreement will help us evaluate the design opportunities for large-scale Natrium plants that can support Japan’s carbon targets,” Chris Levesque, President and CEO of TerraPower, added.
Japan’s “Strategic Roadmap” classifies SFR as “one of the most promising technologies," and stresses the urgency to foster global cooperation and utilise the technology for a cleaner energy future.
In July this year, MFBR set plans for a 650 MW pool-type SFR, with MHI serving as the main contractor and manufacturer.