Message from Director General of Oarai Research and Development Center,JAEA
The Oarai Research and Development Center of JAEA has a long history and tradition of nuclear energy research for nearly half a century, since it was established in the city of Oarai in 1967. The Center, having the three research reactors and the related research facilities, provides a unique research complex for advanced nuclear system development and application, and an open research environment that attracts domestic and international researchers and engineers.
Out of the six principal research and development (R&D) Sectors of JAEA, we at the Center are conducting R&D activities over the four Sectors as follows:
- For Advanced Fast Reactor Cycle R&D Sector, advanced technology development has been conducted using Experimental Fast Reactor Joyo with its post-irradiation test facilities and various other test facilities especially with liquid sodium, for the purpose of long-term sustainable energy supply in Japan as well as contribution to the volume reduction of high-level radioactive waste. A new and large sodium test facility AtheNa is being constructed for advanced sodium component development.
- For Nuclear Science Research Sector, Japan Materials Testing Reactor JMTR with its post-irradiation test facility has been used for the various purposes of: light water reactor life extension and safety, fuel and material development, and other medical and industrial applications. For a high-temperature gas reactor technology, which is expected to open a promising area of nuclear heat application, High Temperature
Engineering Test Reactor HTTR has been stably operated to demonstrate its inherently safe reactor characteristics. The R&D program is underway for nuclear hydrogen generation technology, with which it is proposed to use high-temperature heat directly from HTTR in the future.
- For Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management Sector, radioactive wastes generated from all the nuclear test facilities of the Center are collected for centralized management. R&Ds are underway for safe and efficient waste management and treatment. A new waste management facility OWTF is under construction for volume reduction of large solid wastes.
- For Fukushima R&D Sector, in collaboration with the research institutes in Tokai, R&Ds to support recovery from the nuclear accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants and its decommissioning, taking full advantage of the test facilities and our experiences and technologies using nuclear fuels and contaminated materials.
Although the national circumstances surrounding the nuclear community have been significantly changed since March 2011, it is still clearly addressed that the nuclear energy is an important base-load power source in the Strategic Energy Policy of Japan issued in April 2014. Thus our pioneering roles of the Center for advanced nuclear system development, I believe, should continue to be indispensable for the future of Japan.
We at the Center place highest priority on safety assurance of our research facilities, maintain harmonized relationship with the local communities and publish our R&D and other information actively. We appreciate your continuous understanding and support.