• Kyodo


The government-funded Japan Atomic Energy Agency said Monday it has reached an agreement with the Indonesian National Nuclear Energy Agency to cooperate in the research and development of high-temperature gas reactors.

Indonesia aims to begin operation of such next-generation nuclear reactors, known to have a lower risk of core meltdowns, in 2020. Under the agreement, Japan’s research results will be used to construct gas reactors for experiments and demonstrations in Indonesia.

High-temperature gas reactors use helium gas rather than water for cooling, so earthquake-prone countries such as Japan and Indonesia could construct such reactors inland to avoid the risk of tsunami hitting reactors in coastal areas.

But it is difficult to build large-scale reactors of this kind and their power output will likely be limited to 300,000 kw.

The Indonesian nuclear agency intends to construct commercial reactors in populous Sumatra and Java as well as Bali and Madura from the late 2020s and the new reactors could adopt Japanese technology.

The Japanese agency has been studying high-temperature gas reactors at a research facility in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, as the Japanese government is promoting research and development of such reactors under its national energy policy, aiming to eventually export such technology.

The Japanese agency has formed similar cooperation agreements with the United States, Kazakhstan and South Korea.

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