Kansai Electric Power Company, Hokkaido Electric Power Company, Shikoku Electric Power Company and Kyushu Electric Power Company – all owners and operators of nuclear plants – are also in the consortium behind the concept and design of the SRZ-1200, a 1,200 MW advanced light-water reactor designed to meet Japan’s post-Fukushima safety standards.
MHI said the SRZ-1200 has additional safety features when compared with conventional pressurised light-water plants.
“The ability to adapt the SRZ-1200 for clean hydrogen production will also be studied to ensure that all potential uses of energy generated from this plant are efficiently and proactively applied for all of societal needs,” MHI said.
Japan said earlier this month that it had earmarked 10 nuclear power plants for restart and was working towards restarting seven more next year.
Reports in Japan quoted minister of economy, trade and industry Yasutoshi Nishimura as saying nuclear power will be key for Japan’s energy security as the country targets carbon neutrality.
Japan has seen 10 commercial nuclear reactors return to service since Fukushima-Daiichi. Another 17 reactors have applied to restart.
Government Considering Next-Generation Reactors
According to the Tokyo-based Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif), the reactors that have returned to service are Genkai-3, Genkai-4, Ikata-3, Mihama-3, Ohi-3, Ohi-4, Sendai-1, Sendai-2, Takahama-3 and Takahama-4.
However, Jaif told NucNet 5 September that only six of those were operating. The other four were undergoing inspections and safety updates.
Japan said recently it was considering building next-generation nuclear reactors and restarting idled plants in a major policy shift, 11 years after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident led to the shutdown of all the country’s commercial nuclear plants.
The prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said he had directed a government panel to look into how “next-generation nuclear reactors equipped with new safety mechanisms” could be used to help Japan achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. His “green transformation” council is expected to report back by the end of the year, he said.
The change of direction, which could include extending the lifespan of existing reactors, has highlighted Japan’s struggle to secure a stable energy supply as a result of the war in Ukraine and soaring energy costs.
Kishida told reporters he had instructed officials to come up with concrete measures by the year end, including on “gaining the understanding of the public” on sustainable energy and nuclear power.