Program for Fundamental Research Related to Integrity Management of Facilities including Primary Containment Vessel, Piping Systems and Buildings and Fundamental Research Related to Fuel Debris Processing and Radioactive Waste Disposal, and Human Resources Development for Nuclear Decommissioning

Tohoku University

Overview

Since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, and has been stated in President Satomi's university-wide mission established in 2013, Tohoku University's mission should be "leading reconstruction and regeneration". To meet this mission Tohoku University has been continuously pushing ahead with 8 university-wide projects that commenced right after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, and has initiated more than 100 projects based on proposals from members. In addition, Tohoku University has decided to develop and commence new projects that will hasten reconstruction. One of these new projects is the Promotion Project of Fundamental research and Human Resources Development supporting the Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1 to 4.

Review Group

Subject

Program for Fundamental Research and Human Resources Development towards the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants

  • Research related to Integrity Management of Facilities including Primary Containment Vessel, Piping Systems and Buildings
  • Research related to Fuel Debris Processing and Radioactive Waste Disposal,

Purpose

Tohoku University promotes the university-wide vision of "leading reconstruction and regeneration following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake," and in order to realize this vision, the university considers "contributing to the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant" to be one of the most important issues. As a result, Tohoku University is focusing on "Fundamental Research and Human Resources Development towards the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants".
Tohoku University has formed a university-wide, cross-departmental body with partnerships across a wide range of fields in order to fully capitalize on its longstanding strength in the field of materials science. In addition, Tohoku University has partnered with Fukushima University and Fukushima National College of Technology to hasten fundamental research. Moreover, the university has developed a dedicated graduate school educational curriculum, and is seeking to develop core personnel who can take the lead in safe decommissioning. In the process of executing this project, Tohoku University will establish the “Center for Fundamental Research on Nuclear Decommissioning and Human Resources Development” (tentative name), with long-term research and the creation of a human resources development system as the program's main aims.

Review Group

Taking into account decommissioning needs on-site, Tohoku University will tackle two priority research tasks as a top priority:

  1. "Fundamental research related to integrity management of facilities including primary containment vessel, piping systems and buildings" and
  2. "Fundamental research related to fuel debris processing and radioactive waste disposal."

We have set specific goals for each research task; and we aim to generate results that will be useful on-site.
In terms of human resources development, we have established the Decommissioning Engineering Course. We have developed a dedicated curriculum that seeks to encourage the active participation of students in fundamental research, and we have partnered with experts from other fields because circumstances during the process of decommissioning may change in a complicated manner. Therefore, we will develop core personnel who are capable of accurate and multi-layered responses.

Review Group

Implementing Institutions

Tohoku University
Fukushima University (subcontracting institution)
Fukushima National College of Technology (subcontracting institution)

Implementation System

The implementation of this Program is university-wide, and cross-departmental with partnerships across a wide range of fields within Tohoku University, consisting of eight Task Groups (TG) and a Coordination Group (CG).

  1. Steel Component Corrosion and its Prevention TG
  2. Concrete Structure Evaluation TG
  3. Inspection Technology Development TG
  4. Repair Technology Development TG
  5. Remote Technology TG
  6. Fuel Debris Property Check and Processing TG
  7. Radioactive Waste Disposal TG
  8. Social Acceptability TG

In addition to cooperation with Fukushima University and Fukushima National College of Technology, this project will include the support of:

  • The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID),
  • The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA),
  • Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.,
  • Toshiba Corporation,
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.,
  • Kajima Corporation,
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company,
  • The National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and others.
Review Group

Roles of the Coordination Group

The Coordination Group (CG) guides and coordinates the work of the Task Groups including:

(1) Planning, Coordination and Implementation of Major Events

  1. Core Subjects of the Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning Engineering Program
    We will conduct an intensive course called "Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning Engineering".
  2. Expert Meetings
    We will invite domestic and overseas experts from relevant fields, researchers and engineers from companies involved in decommissioning R&D, and experts from government agencies to conduct expert discussions and exchanges of opinions related to research subjects.
  3. Site Visit with Students
    We will plan and conduct site visits and surveys that will aid research by familiarizing participants with the facilities in the field such as nuclear power plants, hot labs, and others.
  4. Various Seminars, Lectures, and more
    We will plan and conduct seminars help participants more thoroughly understand nuclear reactor decommissioning.

(2) Project Promotion and Coordination

Along with promoting the project for its overall smooth advancement, we will also conduct overall coordination tasks.

(3) Promotion of Partnerships between Industry, Government, and Academia

We will forge partnerships with related organizations in industry, government, and academia to effectively push this project forward.

Review Group Staff

  • Nobuyoshi HARA
    Nobuyoshi HARA
  • Yutaka WATANABE
    Yutaka WATANABE
  • Yuichi NIIBORI
    Yuichi NIIBORI
  • Takayuki AOKI
    Takayuki AOKI