Press Information

MHI Signs MOU with PBMR Pty Ltd
On Development of Small-size Nuclear Power Generation Plant
-- Future Collaboration in Plant Construction and Market Exploration to Be Probed --


Tokyo, February 4, 2010 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has reached an agreement with Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Ltd (PBMR Pty) of the Republic of South Africa to study the area of collaboration in the development of the "Pebble Bed Modular Reactor" (PBMR). A memorandum of agreement (MOU) was signed on February 3. Based on the MOU, MHI will initially study the area for possible collaboration in the design of 200 MWt (megawatts thermal) plant, which PBMR Pty is currently developing. Going forward, the two companies will also probe further collaboration, including construction of plants and market exploration. With the newly concluded MOU, PBMR development will now move forward toward commercialization of a small size reactor achieving both outstanding safety and economy.

The 200 MWt plant consists of a 200 MWt PBMR and a steam generator that provides hot steam at 750°C (1,382°F). The plant uses silicon carbide-coated uranium particles encased in graphite for the fuel spheres and helium as the coolant, making it free from risk of reactor core meltdown. The PBMR requires relatively low initial investment and is considered to be well suited to applications in areas lacking a fully developed power transmission grid. A number of potential customers, including, Sasol, a major South African chemical company, have been studying the introduction of the plant, which is targeted to begin operation in approximately year 2020.

Specifically, when collaboration area has been agreed, MHI will conduct part of the research & development activities for the 200 MWt plant design. In the future, further collaboration possibilities will be probed, including construction of the 200 MWt plant and exploring market potential for the PBMR.

PBMR (Pty) Ltd is a nuclear power engineering company established in 1999 to oversee the PBMR development project. MHI has been in a close relationship with PBMR Pty since its initial participation in the development project in 2001.

The new MOU was concluded based on PBMR Pty's high evaluation of MHI's solid record in design and production capability as well as its record of punctual deliveries and vast experience in the nuclear field. Buoyed by the MOU signing, MHI aims to further strengthen its cooperative relationship with PBMR (Pty) and to engage ever more vigorously in the PBMR's R&D activities and efforts toward its commercialization.


About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on