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Japan Atomic Energy Agency

Geological Isolation Research and Development

Political Framework

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) decided the Framework for Nuclear Energy Policy in October 2005, as a fundamental principle for research, development and utilisation of nuclear science and engineering. In the Framework, the basic concepts of the future approaches for geological disposal of HLW are specified. JAEA, as a leading R&D institution, is assigned responsibility, through utilisation of underground research facilities, to steadily continue to conduct scientific research on the deep geological environment, basic R&D toward the improvement of reliability of geological disposal technology and safety assessment methods and R&D for safety regulations.

In addition, JAEA is expected to promote R&D on geological disposal of HLW in close partnership with the Government and other related organisations. JAEA, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) and associated institutions have thus cooperated and collaborated to proceed with the fundamental R&D programme systematically and efficiently. In a very general categorisation of R&D roles defined in the programme, JAEA has particularly focussed on their scientific aspects whereas the ANRE associated institutions have concentrated on their engineering aspects. All R&D outcome is to be integrated and managed in the form of a knowledge base that supports the implementation of the disposal project and the formulation of safety regulations.