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The whole picture of efforts

The whole picture of R&D activities related to the Fukushima Daiichi NPS

Many extremely difficult technical problems accompany the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi NPS (hereinafter called “1F decommissioning”), so in addition to TEPCO’s own efforts, R&D on highly reliable technologies with the aim of application at the site is being conducted, through projects funded by government grants and facilities maintenance projects.

An R&D plan that follows the government’s “Mid-and-long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4” (hereinafter called the “Mid-to-long term roadmap”) has been presented, and many R&D projects are underway. The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID), a technology research association, was established in August 2013 to strengthen the management system for these R&D efforts, and equipment of research facilities and basic research are promoted centering on the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), a national R&D corporation.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF) was established in August 2014, and it has created policies for conducting research and development of necessary technologies to implement decommissioning, and clarified plans, procurement and the form of management for R&D. In addition, NDF released the "Technical Strategic Plan 2015 for Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company - Towards Amendment of the Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap in 2015 -" (hereinafter called the "Strategic Plan") on April 30, 2015.

The aim of the NDF’s Strategic Plan is to give the government’s Mid-to-long term roadmap a solid technical foundation from the perspective of correct and steady implementation of 1F decommissioning, and to contribute to its steady implementation and review. In particular, NDF is putting together comprehensive plans that include R&D efforts, in addition to strategies for the important problems that accompany decommissioning of reactors that experienced accidents, for retrieval of fuel that melted and then solidified and measures for contaminated materials. In addition, it analyzes risks associated with radioactive materials, and organizes and presents logic trees of the major problems and countermeasures for reducing those risks.

  • Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (PDF)
  • Technical Strategic Plan 2016 for Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc(NDF)(PDF)
  • Technical Strategic Plan 2017 for Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc(NDF)(PDF)
  • Recommendations for Fuel Debris Retrieval Policies (Chapter 4 of Strategic Plan 2017)(NDF)(PDF)

Overview of R&D activities related to the Fukushima Daiichi NPS

The whole picture of R&D

Various related institutions are putting their wisdom together in response to the extremely difficult technical problems of the 1F decommissioning, for which there are no precedents, and are working on everything from applied development with the goal of application at the site to basic research, and they plan to continue on working even more closely together in the future.

Implementing institutions

<Reference: Strategic Plan 2016(NDF)>

(参考)主要関係機関の役割

Government

Government policies towards 1F decommissioning were clarified and presented in their “Mid-to-long term roadmap”, and the government presented an R&D plan for highly difficult technologies that are to be implemented, also providing funding for implementing institutions.
- Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI): Project of Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management
- Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT): The Center of World Intelligence Project for Nuclear S&T and Human Resource Development
Basic research projects under JAEA grants,

Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation(NDF)

 Through presentation and implementation of the Strategic Plan, which gives substance to the mid-to-long term strategic plan for 1F decommissioning, gives guidance and advice regarding 1F decommissioning work and concrete plans for research institutions, in addition to the government initiative R&D plans.
It also provides overall coordination and management through the Decommissioning R&D Partnership Council to reinforce partnership for the diverse and numerous research efforts related to 1F decommissioning.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc(TEPCO)

This is the company responsible for the 1F decommissioning work under the organization of Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Company .
Holds responsibility for executing work at the plant related to application and utilization of technology that is developed, creates and revises the implementation plan to ensure safety at the Fukushima Daiichi NPS, which was designated as a “specified nuclear facility”, obtaining authorization from the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Research institutes
International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning(IRID)

IRID is a technical research association established to strengthen integrated management of the 1F decommissioning R&D (composed of 18 member companies and institutions, electric companies including TEPCO, plant manufacturers, and research institutions).
As the core implementing institution for Project of Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management, it builds the partnership and cooperative system for each individual project for the research institutions and companies inside and outside of Japan, and implements applied development for technology and systems that are applied and utilized at the plant (including basic research that is necessary for it).

Japan Atomic Energy Agency(JAEA)

As a national research organization (an independent administrative institution), it conducts basic and generic research, and maintains and operates research facilities. It also established the Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science, and gathers wisdom from japan and overseas to reinforce these efforts.

Private sector/research institutes

Other than IRID, TEPCO and manufacturers also conduct applied development with the goal of application and utilization at the plant (example: robot development at TEPCO Technology Development Research Center and a variety of manufacturers).
Also, there are examples of other research institutions that conduct basic and fundamental research aiming to link to application in 1F decommissioning work.

Educational Institutions(e.g. universities and technical colleges.)

Since training people to support the long-term 1F decommissioning is an issue, institutes of higher learning such as universities and technical colleges are providing special lectures and courses with the 1F decommissioning as the main subject for training people, along with implementing basic and generic research.

Academic societies

They provide suggestions and advice from a third party perspective, independent of government or related institutions, pertaining to 1F decommissioning tasks and R&D from a variety of perspectives and points of view. It is important to the 1F decommissioning effort to obtain interest and participation from more researchers and engineers, even from a variety of academic societies other than those related to nuclear power.

Decommissioning R&D Partnership Council

In order to strengthen integrated management of R&D, from application to basic R&D, the Team for Countermeasures for Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Treatment set up the NDF Decommissioning R&D Partnership Council in May 2015. And it decided “Basic Policy on Strengthening R&D Cooperation for Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management” at its first meeting in July 2015.”

Also, a second meeting was held in December 2015, and a third meeting in April 2016. The council is discussing and further promoting actions regarding practical efforts and issues for strengthening R&D cooperation.

Aims and contents of this portal site

  • In order to address highly difficult technical problems in 1F decommissioning, the Decommissioning R&D Partnership Council aims to strengthen R&D cooperation for practical/applied research development and basic/generic research, and has presented the following 4 “direction of future efforts” as an action plan.
  •   ● The status of efforts based on “basic policy” and “direction of future efforts”, and future plans (PDF)
  • 1) Releasing and sharing information on the direction of R&D needs and seeds, and building a foundation
      - NDF shall start a study for building an integrated information platform for R&D needs and seeds, and current efforts.
    2) Strengthening the opportunities for mutual cooperation and expanding participation of diverse researchers
      - Bridging to make mutual cooperation practical and effective, centering on the NDF
      - Efforts such as “Decommissioning basic research platform”, and an overall research map, etc.
    3) Enhancing cooperation at research facilities and research sites
    4) Enhancing efforts on developing, securing and circulating human resources
  • As the first action for “building an integrated information platform for R&D needs and seeds” described above, the NDF built this portal site under cooperation of related institutes for efficient and smooth access to information on R&D needs and seeds, and R&D efforts from basic to applied R&D. It aims to be a base for releasing and sharing information, to contribute to strengthening mutual cooperation, and to expand participation of diverse researchers as well. 
  • Until now, we had to access information and data related to the 1F decommissioning one by one, as each related institute provided and released them separately, and also it was not easy to find. For this reason, this portal site offers following contents to make it easy to access related information in an integrated manner.
    • R&D efforts in response to issues at 1F plant (research needs)
    • Fruits of R&D efforts (including video and images of verification at 1F plant)
    • Related basic and generic research efforts (research seeds)
    • Data and environmental conditions of the sites
  • Among these, the following information regarding R&D shall be provided and released through this portal site (initial version) for now, and further content will be added in the future.
    • Governmentally funded R&D that is being conducted for application and utilization at the 1F plant.
      (Examples)
      • METI’s Project of Decommissioning and Contaminated Water Management (a “national project”)
      • MEXT’s The Center of World Intelligence Project for Nuclear S&T and Human Resource Development
      • Basic research and facility construction by JAEA’s operational grant
    • R&D conducted by TEPCO and plant manufacturers for application at the 1F plant