for Japanese
3 April, 2020

Minamisoma City Releases PR Videos about Plan to Become a “Robot Innovation City”

Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture has been releasing a series of PR videos created to describe its activities toward realizing the Robot Development Vision, a priority in its strategy for reconstruction.

In the Fukushima Robot Test Field, located in the city, conditions have been created simulating those of the actual use of robots. It also will be the site for R&D, demonstration testing, performance evaluations, and training on various robots to be used on land, on sea, and in the air. The city plans to make the best use of the site, enhancing its environment in a way to attract excellent researchers from Japan and abroad, as well as promoting technological innovation in industries and seeking to develop and launch new ventures. Drawing on the concept of Society 5.0 as advocated by the Japanese government in its Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy, the video series is titled “Minamisoma 5.0—Minamisoma Robot Innovation City.” The videos unified by the key phrase, “Minamisoma...more
3 April, 2020

TEPCO Presents Ten-Year Decommissioning Midterm Action Plan for Fukushima Daiichi NPS

On March 27, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) released its Decommissioning Midterm Action Plan 2020, describing the main work processes to be conducted in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) through the end of 2031 or so.

The so-called “mid-and-long-term roadmap” toward the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi NPPs—describing the specific steps and concrete measures to be taken until decommissioning is completed—was revised at the end of 2019, based on technical proposals by the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF). The roadmap also covers the removal of spent fuel from dedicated pools and the start of the removal of the fuel debris. To facilitate the planning to achieve the roadmap’s goals, the Decommissioning Midterm Action Plan 2020 presents specific actions to be taken over a decade or so in dealing with the contaminated water, the removal of spent fuel from spent fuel pools, the removal of fuel debris, and measures to deal with waste. The plan is expecte...more
27 March, 2020

NRA Issues Draft Review Report for JAEA’s HTTR

At a regular meeting on March 25, the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRA) issued a draft review report for the High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR), owned by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), saying that it was effectively compatible with the new regulatory standards. The reactor, with a thermal output of 30MW, is situated in Oarai Town (Ibaraki Prefecture).

The report will be finalized after being referred to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and the minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), as well as after being opened to the public for comments. As for the reactor’s location and structure, the NRA says that JAEA took uncertainties into consideration and sufficiently evaluated the risks of a tsunami, specifically recognizing that the HTTR is installed on high ground—some 36m above the sea—and that no seawater intake facility exists. Thus, the examination concluded that there was not any risk of safety functions being lost due to a tsunami. Additionally, JAEA evaluated various hypothetical accidents and how they would play out. For example, it determined that the concentration levels would not be high enou...more
25 March, 2020

Japanese Opinion Poll Finds That Views on Nuclear Power Turn Slightly Positive

On March 17, the Japan Atomic Energy Relations Organization (JAERO) released the results of its latest nationwide public opinion survey on nuclear power, conducted in FY19 (April 2019 to March 2020). The surveys have been carried out by JAERO since FY06 to understand changes in public opinion on nuclear energy over time. Because they illustrate the points of view and levels of awareness of people receiving the information being disseminated, they assist in shaping informational activities and contribute to the further spread of knowledge and understanding.

The present survey was conducted last October among men and women aged 15 to 79 across the country, and 1,200 responses were obtained. Asked what Japan should do with nuclear power in the future, the respondents most frequently said that it should be discontinued gradually, at 49.4 percent, followed by those who said they didn’t know, at 22.7 percent, for a total of 72.1 percent. Meanwhile, some 11.3 percent of the respondents were positive toward nuclear power—combining the ratio of those supporting an increase (2.0 percent) with the ratio of those supporting the pre-earthquake status quo (9.3 percent), that is, from before March 11, 2011—increased for the third year in a row. The ratio of those generally favorable toward nuclear power—that is, adding the ratio of those who thought ...more