for Japanese


25 July, 2017

Cabinet Approves Basic Concept on Nuclear Energy Use

On July 21, the Japanese government, at a Cabinet meeting, approved the Basic Concept on Nuclear Energy Use formulated by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC). The concept will serve as a guide for the nation's nuclear policy in the years to come.

As for basic targets, the Basic Concept describes the need to use nuclear energy in an appropriate manner by thoroughly managing risk under a responsible system. In citing the need to obtain public confidence in the peaceful uses of nuclear power—based on the fundamental assumption of safety—it also clearly states the importance of fully recognizing the benefits that nuclear technology brings to the environment, people’s lives and the economy, and not only its costs.

In light of that, eight priority activities were outlined in the Basic Concept, along with a detailed direction for each, as follows:

  1. Continued improvements to safety, with the recognition of non-zero risk
  2. Nuclear energy use from the perspective of global warming and its effect on people’s lives and the economy.
  3. Domestic and global activities in light of international trends.
  4. Ensuring the peaceful use of nuclear power, nonproliferation and nuclear security.
  5. Restoring confidence among the public: the premise for nuclear energy use.
  6. Responding to decommissioning needs and dealing with radioactive waste.
  7. Increasing use of radiation and radioactive isotopes
  8. Solidifying the foundation for using nuclear energy.

In anticipation of the Basic Concept’s issuance, JAEC had started hearings among experts and specialists as early as two years ago, while also engaging in other opinion exchanges. In April 2017, it formulated a draft concept that was open to the public for comments, with 728 finally received. On July 18, JAEC met to discuss the comments, and on July 20, it deemed the draft final.

The last time that the JAEC had decided on a keynote policy was a dozen years ago, in 2005, when it issued the Fundamental Principles for the Nuclear Policy Program. From now on, it now intends to review and revise the policy every five years to keep up with changes in the environment surrounding nuclear energy.

In a briefing after the commission’s decision on July 20, JAEC Chairman Yoshiaki Oka talked about ways to materialize the policies incorporated in the Basic Concept. After the Cabinet approves it, Oka said (speaking one day prior to the approval), each minister and agency was to recognize it and do its work accordingly, assuming their respective responsibilities.

JAEC will establish a platform where organizations in different fields, including those having much experience with light water reactors, as well as others engaged in the utilization of radiation, will be able to exchange information toward strengthening their cooperation.

As for the restart of Japan’s nuclear power plants, the chairman strongly urged that examples from the United States be referred to. The regulatory authority in that country has worked on improvements to voluntary safety efforts by operators, as well as regulatory improvements, allowing the simultaneous achievement of nuclear power safety and economy.

The JAEC secretariat is currently preparing an English version of the Basic Concept, believing it important for Japan to expand the presentation of its nuclear nonproliferation policy to the international community.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map


Voices from Nuclear Industry – Contributing to a clean and resilient recovery

3 September, 2020
Voices from Nuclear Industry – Contributing to a clean and resilient recovery03:59

Recent News

3 December, 2020
MHI Launches New Strategy to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2050
26 November, 2020
JAIF Releases Results of Fact-finding Survey of Japanese Nuclear Industry for Fiscal 2019: Some Effects Seen of COVID-19
24 November, 2020
Japan’s Energy Supply and Demand in Fiscal 2019 Shows CO2 Emissions Down for Sixth Year in a Row
24 November, 2020
NUMO Accepts Applications from Two Municipalities to Conduct Literature Surveys, Moving Closer Toward Selecting HLW Final Disposal Site
16 November, 2020
Kyushu Electric Power Starts Operating Facilities at Sendai-1 NPP Designed for “Specific Severe Accident” Response—First Time in Japan
13 November, 2020
Japan’s NRA Approves Changes to Mutsu Recyclable-Fuel Storage Center after Confirming Regulatory Compliance
13 November, 2020
Keidanren Announces New Growth Strategy Supporting Advanced Reactor Development
29 October, 2020
New Prime Minister Suga Enthusiastic for Carbon-Free Society by 2050
16 October, 2020
Government’s Strategic Policy Committee Starts Deliberations toward Revision of Strategic Energy Plan
13 October, 2020
NUMO Accepts Suttsu’s Application for Literature Survey in Selecting HLW Final Disposal Site—First Since Release of Map of Scientific Features