Jul 25, 2023
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has been selected by Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE), part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), as the core company to lead the development of a high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) program. As the core company for this project, MHI will coordinate R&D, design, and construction of the HTGR demonstration reactor that ANRE plans to put into operation in the 2030s.
To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, initiatives are underway for the utilization of carbon-free hydrogen energy in industrial sectors such as iron and steel, and chemicals, along with transportation and other hard-to-abate industries. Since HTGRs are capable of supplying carbon free heat at extremely high temperatures exceeding 900°C, their utilization can accelerate the realization of a hydrogen society. With such a carbon free, high-temperature heat source, stable and industrial scale production of hydrogen can be realized and when applied to various industrial sectors, this will achieve significant decarbonization.
MHI has been pursuing development of HTGRs since the 1970s, and has accumulated technologies through its role as the principal company for the construction of a High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) for the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), a national research and development agency. In addition, since fiscal year 2022, MHI has participated in a demonstration program(Note) to produce hydrogen using the HTTR, partnering with JAEA to connect a hydrogen production plant to the HTTR as part of a demonstration test for hydrogen production. The selection of MHI as a core company reflects the recognition of its wealth of experience with the development of the HTGR, its proactive efforts in research and development, and its vast technical capabilities.
MHI will utilize and apply its accumulated technological expertise in the development of the HTGR demonstration reactor.