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JAEA, MHI team up for HTTR hydrogen project

(World Nuclear News)—The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will establish a demonstration H2 production project at the high-temperature test reactor (HTTR) in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) comissioned the companies to set up the project as part of Japan's goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

In February, the ARNE set in motion a tender for a demonstration project for the use of the HTTR for mass production of H2. JAEA chose MHI as the contractor for the project.

Beginning later this year, JAEA and MHI will carry out the conversion, licensing procedure, equipment modification and testing in stages. In addition, to further advance the H2 production technology, they will consider increasing the size of some equipment (for example, the high-temperature isolation valve) to enable large-scale H2 production and combine it with the high-temperature gas reactor.

The organizations will also investigate carbon-free H2 production technologies that can utilize the high-temperature heat of high-temperature gas reactors, and consider H2 production methods able to improve H2 production efficiency by comparing each technology. 

"Through this project, JAEA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will confirm the hydrogen production technology using ultra-high temperature heat of high temperature gas reactors, etc, and will lead to the realization of mass and stable carbon-free hydrogen production," they said in a joint statement. 

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