A major improvement in reliability of basic data for nuclear transmutation
—Tackling the issue of radioactive waste with nuclear reaction data and computational science—
Nuclear transmutation systems using accelerators are attracting attention as a way to achieve hazard reduction and resource reclamation of long-lived fission products produced by nuclear power generation. However, LLFP are unstable radionuclides, and thus it has been difficult to quantitatively understand the "easiness of nuclear reactions" (i.e., the nuclear reaction cross-section) that is the key in conceptual design of nuclear transmutation systems.
Research groups centered around the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) have developed new theoretical calculation techniques—while incorporating the latest findings from nuclear physics such as the deformation effects of atomic nuclei—and thereby improved the calculated prediction precision of nuclear reaction cross-sections for LLFP to more than double that of conventional techniques used throughout the world.
A nuclear reaction data library "JENDL/ImPACT-2018" has also been developed and released. By applying the developed theoretical calculation techniques, this library achieves improved reliability of the data crucial for nuclear transmutation research on LLFP using protons and neutrons. Going forward, there are high expectations for development of innovations toward hazard reduction and resource reclamation of high-level radioactive waste through utilization of the library as basic data to help in conceptual design of LLFP nuclear transmutation systems.