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United States, Japan Organizations Reach Agreement on Advanced Nuclear Reactor Activities, Shared Research Facilities

Osaka, Japan, May 25, 2018 – Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy, Japanese organizations, and multiple other nuclear-focused organizations this week agreed to expand advanced nuclear reactor cooperative activities and share research facilities to further enhance nuclear research and development (R&D) efforts by both countries. The organization reached the agreements at the sixth Civil Nuclear Energy Research and Development Working Group (CNWG) meeting in Osaka, Japan.

The purpose of the CNWG is to enhance coordination of U.S.-Japan civil nuclear R&D efforts. U.S. participants included representatives from DOE, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and multiple national laboratories in the DOE system. Japanese participants included representatives from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA); universities; and commercial entities.

The CNWG reached the two significant agreements regarding advanced reactors and R&D, signing the “Cooperation on Advanced Reactor Research and Development - Metal-Fueled Fast Reactor Accident Analysis” project arrangement and identifying mechanisms for enhanced sharing of research facilities. A Nuclear Energy University Programs Integrated Research Project will likely be the vehicle for further promoting the sharing of unique expertise and facilities available in the United States and Japan.

In addition to the agreements, the Advanced Reactor, Fuel Cycle, and Light-Water Reactor R&D Sub-Working Groups of the CNWG reported on recent cooperative efforts that are providing meaningful contributions to civil nuclear energy R&D and have been reported in a significant number of joint technical publications, technical meeting presentations, and updates to American Society of Mechanical Engineers Code rules. In addition, the positive impact of technical staff exchanges between JAEA, Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory was noted. Tours of nuclear research facilities at Kyoto University highlighted the meeting.

The CNWG technical engagement was established 2012 and has been a successful bilateral engagement for advancing civil nuclear energy R&D capabilities critical for both Japan and the United States.

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