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Dr. Shigeaki Okajima
Director General

The Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Center (NSEC) conducts basic studies to produce scientific knowledge and technologies for supporting the nuclear energy utilization and for innovative nuclear technologies. Our studies cover a broad range of basic nuclear science and engineering: nuclear data, reactor physics, thermal hydraulics, material science, actinides science, radiochemistry, analytical chemistry, particle transport and shielding, environment and radiation protection. Our systematic research focuses on providing reliable databases and modeling tools based on our own laboratory data and the partnerships with other laboratories.

After the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP on 11 March 2011, we believe that important issues, to be solved in nuclear energy utilization, are recovery from the accident, improvement of safety performance for light water reactors and consistent success of the back-end technologies. We aggressively work to maintain and advance the level of science and technology to solve these issues.

We are also working to nurture nuclear scientists and engineers for the next generation.

- The following are some examples of our achievements for the past half-decade: Generation of the nuclear data library JENDL-4.0, Production of databases, e.g. a database for ICRP Publications 107, 116, etc., and Development of a world version SPEEDI (WSPEEDI) and particle-heavy ion transport code PHITS2. Those databases and tools contribute to developing the advanced designs and the analyses as well as enhancing the nuclear safety, the safeguards and the radiation protection. In addition, we have developed the trace analysis techniques and the advanced non-destructive measurement techniques for safeguards as an advanced technology.

- For recovering from the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, Tokyo Electric Power Company, we have been carrying out various activities based on the requests from the national and local governments, e.g., estimation of source term and environmental dispersion by SPEEDI/ WSPEEDI, development of Calculation system for Decontamination Effect (CDE) and environmental decontamination technologies, etc. In addition, from viewpoints of basic research to contribute to the decommissioning work, we will focus on understanding the properties of debris, evaluation of long-term material soundness for containers, development of prediction and monitoring techniques for criticality and development of estimation technologies such as radionuclides. We will carry out them in collaboration with Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science in Sector of Fukushima Research and Development, which was established in FY2015.

- In the development of partitioning and transmutation technologies, which can be expected to reduce high-level radioactive waste, we address the fundamental technology development of new separation process of minor actinides (MA) such as Np and Am and fission products effectively. We aim to raise this technology to the quasi-engineering stage. Also, we have made a conceptual design study of the new system that combines the subcritical reactor and accelerator (accelerator-driven subcritical system (ADS)). We made plan to construct the experimental facility complex which is necessary to study and evaluate the performances of ADS in collaboration with J-PARC Center and Nuclear Science Research Institute. We are also studying MA fuel cycle system including fuel fabrication and reprocessing of irradiated MA fuel. These partitioning and transmutation technologies development are also being studied in close cooperation with the international community.

- As basic research related on the safety performance improvement of nuclear facilities, we started to develop not only the accident tolerance fuels/materials but also the new safety instruments for LWR and also to develop innovative and highly reliable decommissioning technology of nuclear facilities from three viewpoints of "reduction of accident risk", "prevention of expansion of scale in an accident" and "safer decommissioning of the existing reactors".

- We also seek partnerships with industries and universities, using the institutional mechanism of Fundamental Nuclear Energy Collaboration Center.

April, 2015

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