National Nuclear Laboratory


Friday 14 April 2023

UK and Japanese national nuclear laboratories renew cooperation to accelerate science and innovation

The UK and Japanese national laboratories for nuclear science – the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) – have extended a Technical Co-operation Agreement today which builds on their long-standing ties in research and development.

The agreement, which was signed on the occasion of a special event at Tokyo’s Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), reflects the importance of nuclear science and innovation within UK and Japanese national energy strategies.

For more than two decades, there have been exchange visits between NNL and JAEA’s world-leading facilities to share expertise and advance the development of civil nuclear technologies and solutions. This latest extension of the agreement, which was first drawn up in 2001, will facilitate continued collaboration over the coming years.

The two national laboratories are also developing international collaboration as part of the Global National Laboratories Integrated Energy Systems (GNL-IES) forum, launched in January 2022. Comprising other laboratories from Canada, France and the USA, this forum is building shared working across low-carbon technologies to accelerate the world-wide energy transition.

James Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer at NNL, stated:

“Over more than twenty years, we have built a strong and valued relationship with our colleagues at JAEA, which we are pleased to renew today with this formal co-operation agreement. Partnerships such as this are to be cherished and are recognition of shared values and the determination to harness our combined knowledge and expertise for mutual benefit. We look forward to continuing to pave the way for world-class nuclear science, innovation and collaboration between our two national laboratories.”

The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, UK Energy Secretary, who attended the signing ceremony in Tokyo, said:

“Today marks another huge step forward in our mission for fission. Nuclear power will be a more secure and cleaner energy source for the UK. It is our ambition for 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity to be from nuclear sources by 2050 – up from 15 per cent today.

“The UK and Japan are pioneers in nuclear technology and this agreement cements our lasting partnership, paving the way for continued collaboration so we can build the technologies of tomorrow.

“It is vital we work together to secure these renewable energy sources, boosting our energy sovereignty, as we come ever closer to consigning coal and gas power to history.”

Mr KOGUCHI Masanori, President of JAEA, added:

“With the increased recognition of the importance of nuclear energy in both countries and around the globe, the role of national nuclear laboratories like us will be further expanded. With the need to maximise the value of nuclear energy and deliver it to the sustainable society, we will continue to work together as national nuclear laboratories that share the same value.”