Japan to Replace China as TerraPower’s New Partner in Construction of New Gen Nuclear Plant

published: 2022-01-18 9:30 | editor: | category: News

As pointed out by Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd will be working with TerraPower, established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, on the construction of a new generation nuclear reactor in Wyoming. The collaboration will be signed this month at the earliest.

Yomiuri Shimbun quoted multiple anonymous sources, which talked about how both parties will be signing for the agreement in January at the earliest, where JAEA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will provide technical support, as well as the statistics of advanced reactors from Japan.

TerraPower announced in June 2021 the establishment of a new natrium reactor in Wyoming that is scheduled to complete in 2028 with a total expenditure of US$4 billion, and half of the figure will be paid for by the US government. The power plant was initially a project that will be collaborated with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), though the plan was forced to terminate under the China-US trade war during the tenure of former US President Donald Trump.

JAEA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have yet to comment on this matter.

On the other hand, the bump road for Japan’s development in new generation nuclear power generation equipment may offer crucial experience. Monju Nuclear Power Plant is a fast breeder reactor established and operated by JAEA that costs US$8.5 billion, though it did not generate much benefits due to malfunctions and regulatory violations, and the loss of confidence on nuclear power plants among the public after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 eventually led to the decommissioning of the Monju Nuclear Power Plant in 2016.

 (Cover photo source: TerraPower)

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