Press Information

MHI to Actively Engage in Fast Breeder Reactor Business
-- Selected as Core Company in FBR Development --


Tokyo, April 18, 2007 - On April 18, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) was selected to serve as the core company in a fast breeder reactor (FBR) development initiative being promoted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in line with Japanese government policy.


Seeking to accelerate development of a world-leading FBR by Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan and JAEA opted to concentrate responsibility and authority for the FBR's development into one core company possessing technological development capabilities and tangible achievements in this area. This strategy was adopted to ensure that development will be carried out under a structure marked by clear delineation of responsibility and authority.

Unlike the light-water reactors widely used today for nuclear power generation, FBRs make maximum use of uranium resources by generating more fuel than they consume; this is achieved through burn-up of uranium and plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel using fast neutrons. In a quest for stable energy supplies in the future, the Japanese government has positioned the FBR as the main nuclear power generation system for the 21st century superseding light-water reactors, and it has promoted its development toward commercialization as a national project.

MHI, which has been actively engaged in FBR development since the 1960s as a core activity in its nuclear power business, believes that its selection owed to the high evaluation accorded to the company's rich experience in FBR development, its abundant FBR engineers and its sophisticated nuclear technology.

Going forward, as the core company in FBR development, MHI will establish a new company to integrally orchestrate engineering activities and actively engage in development toward construction of an FBR "demonstration reactor" for launching by 2025 and an FBR "commercial reactor" for introduction by 2050, with the ultimate aim to supersede light-water reactors.