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Programs include explanation of R&D by JAEA scientists and technician.
Satoyama, a border zone between mountain foothills and arable flat land, is the surrounding natural land that has supported the traditional life of rural villages in Japan.
Such satoyama zones used to be a place of residential life in Fukushima Prefecture, where about 70% of the prefectural area is covered with forest.
But in forests, radioactive cesium tends to accumulate in the leaf mold layer that lies between the defoliated-leaf layer and the soil layer. When the radioactive cesium is eluted to water, it causes contamination of forest plants. Furthermore, in sloping lands, the cesium can slowly move downhill by the action of rainwater, resulting in recontamination of residential areas that had been previously decontaminated.
Since immediately after the nuclear accident, JAEA has continuously been working on radiation monitoring as well as research and development of decontamination methods. JAEA is now conducting a demonstration of a new technique for suppressing migration of radioactive cesium, jointly with Ibaraki University and Kumagai Gumi.
Mutsu city in Aomori Prefecture is located on the Shimokita Peninsula, facing Mutsu Bay and the Tsugaru Strait, at the northernmost end of the island of Honshu. The Sekine Facility and Ominato Facility of the Aomori Research and Development Center are located here.
The Sekine Facility was the port where maintenance and inspection of the nuclear-powered ship "Mutsu" were implemented and, after completing its last experimental voyage, the ship returned. Today, the nuclear reactor facility of the ship is being decommissioned here.
The Ominato Facility was started as the port which the "Mutsu" was first brought into after its hull was completed.
At present, using a system called accelerator mass spectrometer or “AMS” which can measure infinitesimal amount of radionuclide, etc. existing in the global environment with the accuracy of the highest level in the world, analysis of samples in a broad-ranging areas such as geoscience, life science and archaeology, as well as development of such analysis technology, is carried out.
Director Yabuuchi with the experience as the “Mutsu” crewmember introduces these facilities.
Aomori Research and Development Center
The number of diabetic patients is said to be 400 million in the world, and in Japan the number increases every year. Under such circumstance, JAEA has successfully developed a non-invasive type (without damaging living body) blood sugar sensor.
If this sensor, enabling blood sugar test without painful blood sampling, becomes widely used, the burden of patients as well as that of medical staff engaged in blood sampling and data input will be alleviated, and time taken for treatment will be reduced.
Also, if the non-invasive type blood sugar sensor is placed in city halls, libraries and other public and private organizations and thus become conveniently available to people like the blood pressure measuring apparatus, it will help daily prevention of diabetes.
Superheavy elements are created artificially by nuclear reactions. However, their properties have been wrapped in mystery. Some of the properties of Lawrencium, one of the superheavy elements were clarified by the research group for Heavy Element Nuclear Science of Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
This research achievement with the potential to rewrite the periodic table appeared in Nature, one of the most prestigious scientific journals worldwide. According to Nature Publishing Group, about 200 papers are submitted each week to Nature by excellent scientists all over the world. However, only 8% or so of them are actually published after a severe review. This achievement was recognized to be the most worthy of attention among the carefully selected papers, and appeared on the front cover.
March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan, and serious nuclear accident took place at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
After the accident, large volumes of related information (seismic damage information, plant status, monitoring data, research results, etc.) have been released from the websites of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, government agencies, universities, and research institutes, etc. However, information on the Internet may be dispersed and lost with lapse of time (such as change of URL).
In order to collect and preserve comprehensive information regarding the accident and ensure access to such information, the JAEA library develops the “Fukushima Nuclear Accident Archive (FNAA)”. With an Internet connection, anyone can access this archive.