The Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET) of Tsinghua University was founded in 1960 as a top nuclear research and experimental base in China. After near fifty years, It has developed into a comprehensive research center with multidisciplinary research, design and engineering projects mainly on nuclear technology. In 2003, a new department within INET has been established to promote researches on new energy formats such as hydrogen, solar energy, fuel cells and biomass.
Three nuclear reactors have been built to facilitate the researches at INET since it was founded. The first reactor is a twin-core experimental shielding reactor. The second is a 5MW nuclear heating reactor (NHR-5)，on which many experiments have been performed, including heat-electricity cogeneration, air-conditioning and seawater desalination. The most recently built reactor is the HTR-10, the only operating reactor of the kind in the world. This modular high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), with 10MW thermal output, serves as a research base to test and develop the nuclear fuel elements, verify modular HTGR safety features, demonstrate co-generation of electricity and heat, and provide experience in modular HTGR design, construction and operation.At present, projects involving technological development of a closed helium turbine cycle of the HTR-10 and the construction of an industrial scale modular HTGR nuclear power plant are underway.
INET has two sites on and off the main campus of Tsinghua University. The main site, with a total area of around 750,000 M2, is in the northern suburb of Beijing, about 50km away from the campus. INET has about 500 faculty members, over 200 graduate students. They work and study in 17 research divisions and other support centers/offices. The graduate education offered by INET covers both master's and doctoral programs in Engineering.