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



Nobuyoshi HARA

Nobuyoshi HARA
Executive Vice President (for Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction)

Since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, the most important issue that we have to face in reconstruction and local renewal is the safe decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactors. Tohoku University was one of the first institutions to formulate diverse recovery projects in order to support the resolution of various difficulties that materialized after the disaster. One of these pillar projects that the university has undertaken is the Reactor Decommissioning Project. And now, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has chosen our project; and the "Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning Research and Enhanced Human Resources Development Program" has been activated in earnest. As a university located in a disaster-impacted area, and as a university that has continuously presented cutting-edge research to the world, we have commenced initiatives that bear our social mission and duty – initiatives that contribute to the greatest extent possible.

This program promotes both "basic and generic research," and "human resources development" but its foundation will be this university's unique research and development capabilities, with a "research first" philosophy. The enlightened intellect that many research fields, but mainly materials science and quantum energy, radiate will be the driving force that will overcome engineering difficulties. In addition, the Decommissioning Engineering Course will foster advanced expertise and produce graduates with polished issue-solving capabilities, a broad outlook, and communication skills, able to serve in core roles decommissioning reactors.

The decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant's reactors is an unprecedented large-scale, long-term project. Decommissioning is a challenging field that requires cutting-edge engineering. At any rate, the research and engineering solutions involved in decommissioning reactors may extend to and be implemented in society. Along with our young students, we will continue to tackle worthwhile initiatives that rouse our researcher spirits.