Japan to help build Bill Gates’ high-tech nuclear reactor in Wyoming-Yomiuri

The logo of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries can be seen at the company’s press conference in Tokyo, Japan on May 9, 2016. REUTERS / Issei Kato

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TOKYO, January 1 (Reuters) – Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T) will partner with the United States and Bill Gates’ venture company to build a high-tech nuclear reactor in Wyoming, the daily Yomiuri reported on Saturday.

The parties will sign an agreement as early as January for JAEA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to provide technical support and data from Japan’s own advanced reactors, the report states, citing several unidentified sources.

TerraPower, an advanced nuclear power plant founded by Gates, will open its Sodium plant in Wyoming in 2028. The US government will provide funds to cover half of the $ 4 billion project. read more

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Terrapower had initially explored the prospect of building an experimental nuclear plant with state-owned China National Nuclear Corp, until it was forced to seek new partners after the Donald Trump administration restricted nuclear deals with China.

The United States has competed with China and Russia, which also hope to build and export advanced reactors.

Japan, on the other hand, has a bitter history of shutting down its Monju prototype advanced reactor in 2016, a project that cost $ 8.5 billion but yielded few results and years of controversy.

The Monju plant saw accidents, regulatory breaches and cover-ups since conception, and was closed due to public distrust of nuclear energy following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Both JAEA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries could not be reached for comment as their offices were closed for the New Year holidays.

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Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing Kim Coghill

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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