Greetings from the President
It is my honor to serve as the 40th president of the AESJ. I devote efforts to the tasks of the AESJ.
Giving the top priority to public safety, the purpose of AESJ’s activities is to provide environmental conservation and social development by advancing science and technology on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and radiation.
During this term, the AESJ will mark its 60th anniversary on February 14th next year, which may be likened to turn “Kanreki (age sixty)” in one’s life (In Japan, the 60th birthday is traditionally considered as a celebration of reborn or new beginning, which means to start a new circle of life). Now we are undergoing the most difficult time in Japanese nuclear field, but I will fulfill a role to lead the way to make this term a year that may forge a bright future by sharing common goals together with about 7,000 members of AESJ and by clarifying their roles to play, regardless of each affiliation.
For the main activities of the current term, we will place a special emphasis on the following topics:
1.Support Fukushima reconstruction and the accident-damaged reactors decommissioning, and provide the accumulated knowledge to the world
- It is a major responsibility for us to make contributions to the reconstruction of Fukushima prefecture along with the technical/professional support for a safe and smooth progress of the accident-damaged reactors. In addition to the AESJ activities by “Fukushima Special Project” and “Study Committee on Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant”, we will provide accurate information and technical cooperation through “Academic Network contributing to Fukushima Reconstruction and Reactor Decommissioning” in collaboration with 36 related academic societies and forums.
- In this autumn, we will hold a nuclear symposium in corporation with other academic societies to discuss disaster prevention/reduction — a contributory factor that worsened the damage from the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi accident. In light of this symposium, deepening of countermeasures will be discussed at the Annual Meeting in next spring.
- To provide the accumulated knowledge regarding the accident to the world is an important role to be played by Japan. We are planning to release English-translated Japanese papers and articles on the accident, and issue a special edition on the decommissioning of accident-damaged reactors.
2.Facilitate the activities for finding the uses of nuclear energy and radiation are worthwhile and promising, and nurture the young generations.
According to the 5th Basic Energy Plan in Japan, nuclear power accounts for 20 to 22% of power supply in 2030, but there is no statement about building new nuclear power plants, and we also hear some opinions that the ratio is difficult to realize under the present circumstances with the delays in restarting nuclear power plants and the determinations on decommissioning. Nevertheless, we will promote enhancement of nuclear power safety and advancements in science and technology for the future.
- Contributions to the restart of nuclear power plants and continuous enhancement of safety (e.g., responses to geologic fault matters, safety improvement through facilitation of RIDM/ROP activities, and acceleration of procedures to establish and issue the standards for advanced safety and efficient reviews), and safe and secure decommissioning (e.g., light-water reactors, Monju, and research reactors)
- Studies and recommendations on building new light-water reactors
- Contributions to the progress in FBR developments and fusion power technologies, and establishment of overall fuel cycles including final disposal of radioactive wastes
- Coexistence with recyclable energies, and recommendations from the viewpoint of global environmental issues
In addition, the following studies and recommendations will be made from the viewpoint of the uses of radiation and the development of technical experts.
- Promotion of the studies in radiation use by early restart of research reactors such as JRR-3, following the research reactors in universities and NSRR.
- Consideration and Suggestion for current situation survey, finding problems, and solutions of nuclear fuel/RI facilities in colleges throughout Japan.
- Studies on “the way it should be” of the rational regulation criteria, including graded approach
Furthermore, we will work on the acquisition of overseas state-of-the-art knowledge and the fostering of human resources who can succeed in the global field.
- Support for cooperation and exchange with overseas academic societies and international activities
3.Promote the public understanding, improve the services for the members, and expand the membership.
With your help and efforts in conjunction with the management improvement, we recovered from the momentary financial crisis, but the number of members is continuing to decline; approximately 100 members are withdrawn every year. Moreover, we are having a problem of less young members (20 to 40 years old) accounting for 21% and less female members accounting for 4%. Furthermore, people who agree with nuclear power plants account for 20 to 30% since the accident occurred, which shows that the public understanding of nuclear power plants remains extremely low.
To improve the situation, we will strengthen the activities for young generations and enhance the services for the members, as well as strengthening the activities to obtain the understanding of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and radiation.
For the 60th anniversary projects, we are planning to hold the Annual Meeting in next spring, issue a special edition of the journal, carry out a special publishing activities, etc.
- Shigeaki Okajima, Japan Atomic Energy Agency
- Ken Nakajima, Kyoto University
- Akira Yamaguchi, Tokyo University