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Dr. Shigeaki Okajima
Research on nuclear science was started in the end of the 19th century, was vigorously carried out and made great progress in the first half of the 20th century. In the latter half of the 20th century, the technology based on the nuclear science, i.e. the technology to utilize atomic power, has been developed. The utilization of atomic power includes not only the utilization of energy obtained by nuclear reaction to generate electricity, but also the utilization of energetic particle beam emitted from the nucleus, i.e. radiation, to explore the inside of substances.
In order to support the utilization of atomic power, the Nuclear Science and Engineering Center has been developing a database on nuclear reaction cross section data, the calculation codes to predict the energetic particle behavior in substances, studying efficient transduction of nuclear energy to heat energy, studying nuclear fuel performances, studying the evaluation of the characteristics of structural materials that contain nuclear fuels, developing chemical techniques in handling nuclear fuels and radioactive materials, studying the movement of radionuclides in the environment and the effects of radiation on the human body, etc.
In this way, we are striving to maintain and strengthen the level of basic foundation technologies that support atomic power use. We are pursuing R & D on fundamental databases, calculation codes, advanced technologies, etc. with a focus on research in basic fields such as scientific knowledge and technology in the field of atomic power. After the accident of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, we consider that the following three issues are important for current atomic power use; ① promotion of waste furnace at nuclear reactor facility where accident occurred and recovery of environment etc., ② further improvement of safety performance of light water reactor, ③ steady execution of treatment and disposal of radioactive waste. We are focusing on the research and development of basic foundation technology necessary to solve these problems.
In these R & D activities, we are striving to create transparent and high-quality results. We are also making efforts to create many research and development results that are academically, socially and economically impacting, by thinking that it is our responsibility to disclose the results obtained as soon as possible. Furthermore, based on the results of this basic research, we are working to create new industrial technologies and innovative projects for nuclear power use in cooperation with industry and academia. To that end, various kinds in collaboration with private enterprises are being carried out in the "Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Collaboration Center" established as the core for the purpose of joint research with industry, technology transfer, technical cooperation etc. to develop innovative technologies of nuclear power.
We hope to play a central role in Sector of Nuclear Science Research of JAEA, which is the center of excellence for the nuclear science research in Japan.