Tokyo Institute of Technology, 21st COE Program -Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems for Sustainable Development of the World-
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About the Plan Targets and Importance
Blueprint of the Project
About the Plan
Current situation and trend in Japan and in the world:
 In recent years in the United States, many research activities have begun and a special budget has been allocated on the development of innovative nuclear reactors and research on separation/transmutation technology. A number of universities and national institutes are about to function as COEs. Similarly, in Western Europe, several institutes have begun researches, which are being organized by the EU. It is important to prepare these counterparts also in Japan and develop the research internationally.
 The organizations mentioned above expect the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) to play a role of COE in Japan.
 In Japan, such national research projects have been investigated in the subcommittees of the Atomic Energy Commission, in which the leader of this project also participates. However, such committees cannot be a COE. Subthemes are handled and managed by the committees established in the Atomic Energy Society. Tokyo Tech plays a significant role also in these committees.
 To date, JAERI (Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute) and JNC (Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute) have served as COEs for nuclear energy research in Japan. However, research activities in these institutes are subjected to the national plan and limited in diversity, although they include researches on innovative nuclear reactors and separation/transmutation technology. What is required in the nuclear energy research today is to create diverse ideas and technologies. But they should not be carried out as separate researches. In the COE proposed here, various researches on innovative nuclear energy systems will be pursued under a consistent guiding principle.
 Recently the government has also begun to support innovative nuclear energy systems. From this fiscal year, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) began to invite the public contribution of subjects on innovative nuclear energy systems technology development, in which three Tokyo Tech's applications are adopted. Furthermore, the Atomic Energy Commission published "About the Future Plan of Research and Development on Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems", in which nine innovative nuclear reactors are adopted from Tokyo Tech.

Expected research results, their academic or social significance and ripple effects:
 In response to the above-mentioned new movements in Japan and in the world, the present application reinforces our COE function and helps serve as an important research base in the energy strategy research network in the world, and as a leader in Asia. We will propose innovative nuclear energy systems for the sustainable development of the world which can solve the problems of nuclear proliferation, radioactive wastes and safety in a comprehensive manner. We will present research results which are truly useful in future energy and environmental problems. We will pursue research and development in cooperation with various research institutes in other countries toward the realization of our proposed systems.

Overview of the blueprint of the project:
 In this project, in order to utilize nuclear energy to solve the energy resource depletion and global environmental problems and to support the sustainable development of the world, we aim at a comprehensive solution of problems specific to nuclear energy: nuclear proliferation, radioactive wastes and safety. To this end, we will construct the following concepts and pursue infrastructure technology researches required for the construction: (A) innovative nuclear reactor systems (including utilization systems), and (B) innovative separation/transmutation systems toward vanishing high-level wastes. The nuclear energy system consists of nuclear reactors and the fuel cycle. In this project, we treat these two fields as a whole, while leading the cutting-edge of each field on the subjects (A) and (B).
 The disciplines covered by this project are included in nuclear energy science, which is a synthesis of many fields. Among these many fields, this research base will be built with a particular emphasis on important fields specific to nuclear energy. Specifically, we will cover such disciplines as nuclear data, reactor physics, thermal and fluid engineering, nuclear transmutation engineering, nuclear fuel reprocessing, material science, energy conversion engineering, and safety engineering. However, in constructing the concept of innovative nuclear reactor, it is essential to treat the nuclear reactor in totality. This will not be successful if one adheres to an elemental discipline. We will build an organic system of researchers. The same applies to constructing the concept of innovative separation/transmutation system, but researches here will be made back to more basic principles. While many fields have been enumerated above, it is critical to have an overall vision of nuclear energy. Following this guideline, we will go forward with project activities for research and education.

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