Kazakhstan plans HTR with help of JAERI

Thursday, June 04, 2009. Nuclear Engineering

The National Nuclear Center (NNC) of Kazakhstan and Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) have finalised all initial measures to move forward on the project of a 50MW fourth-generation high temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGCR).

Kairat Kadyrzhanov, general director of NNC, said that the project is estimated at nearly $500 million. According to Kadyrzhanov Russia is a potential partner for the HTGCR project, as it may contribute both funds and professionals. However, the aspect would be determined by the feasibility study to be done first.

Kadyrzhanov said: “Currently HTGCR prototypes exist in Japan, Germany and South Africa. Together with Japanese partners we plan to build an operating 50MWt fourth-generation nuclear reactor.” “JAERI has made a commitment to finance 50% of the project, while one of the Japanese banks has begun the financing,” he said.

“Today we have solved all the legislative and legal matters and now the ball is in our court. If Kazakhstan raises $5 million, we will start a joint feasibility study, in 2018 will have a demo reactor unit and in 2020 the HTGCR will supply heat to Kurchatov,” Kadyrzhanov said.

Kadyrzhanov said, Slovakia that has 50% of the national power generation coming from nuclear energy, has revealed an interest in the project too.

Japan’s national energy programme until 2010 suggests building 24 HTGCR units with a variety of generating capacity which will allow transport vehicles to switch to clean burning hydrogen, Kadyrzhanov said.