Established in 1960, the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET) has developed into the largest research and design institution in the system of China’s higher education.
In the same year with the foundation of the institute, the construction of the Experimental Shielding Reactor was started. It is the first reactor self-developed by China. In 1964, the construction was completed and criticality was reached.
Solvent Extraction Process for Spent Fuel Reprocessing was successfully developed at INET during 1964-1966. The technology and its application in nuclear fuel reprocessing plants made China one of the leading countries in this field throughout the world.
INET was initially only involved in nuclear engineering and defense-related scientific research. While in 1970s, INET adjusted its strategy of development by expanding its research areas. Presently INET has developed into a comprehensive research center with multi-disciplinary projects mainly in nuclear technology. Its research fields nowadays cover both nuclear and non-nuclear energies.
In 1981, the conceptual design of Low Temperature Nuclear Heating Reactor (LTNHR) was started by INET. In 1985, LTNHR was included in the national seventh five-year plan as one of the key projects and the construction of a 5MW LTNHR was approved by Chinese government.
In March 1986, the construction of 5MW LTNHR was commenced and its first criticality was reached in November 1989. 5MW LTNHR developed by INET is the first “vessel type nuclear heating reactor with integrated arrangement and natural circulation which has ever been put into operation throughout the world. It is also the world’s first reactor which applies hydraulic control rods. The success of 5MW LTNHR made China one of the leading countries in the field of LTNHR. Besides heating tests, experiments of cogeneration of heat and power were carried out in 5MW LTNHR in 1991. One year later, test of nuclear refrigeration and air-conditioning was also conducted successfully. In August 1995, the construction of 200MW LTNHR demonstration plant developed by INET was approved by Chinese government.
In the year of 1986, the research done by INET on High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) was included in the National High Technology Research and Development Program ("863"Program) of China. In March 1992, the State Council of China approved the construction of the first 10 MW High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTR-10) of China at INET. In June 1995, the construction of HTR-10 was commenced and in December 2000 the criticality was reached. In January 2003, HTR-10 reached its full power operation and began to supply power to the grid.
In recent years, achievements of world’s top level were made by INET in the fields of the partitioning of high level waste (HLW) and nuclear technology application.A partitioning process, TRPO extraction process, was established to extract uranium and the transuranium elements from HLW, which became one of the most promising processes in the world. A highly effective separation technology for Am(Cm)/lanthanides by extraction with a commercial reagent, Cyanex 301, has been developed in recent years, and it is universally acknowledged as a breakthrough in this field. 60Co Container Inspection system developed by INET was a creation in the world and has won high praises from the world. It has been already industrialized.
In addition to the achievements in scientific and technology development, INET has made great accomplishments in post-graduate education, continuing education, international cooperation and exchange, etc.. Nowadays INET has been making efforts to meet the needs of national economy and to develop itself into a world-class R&D base.