|Targets and needs:
With respect to the research subjects of this project, we have always pursued
state-of-the-art researches in the world in collaboration with the Research
Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors in Tokyo Tech. More than ten years ago, we
started a systematic research toward "Construction of self-consistent
nuclear energy systems," in which we studied a fuel cycle toward zero-release
of radioactive wastes and a nuclear reactor that can assure safety by the
mechanism of nature alone without resort to equipments and operators. Currently
the research on nuclear proliferation resistance is added to them. We are
now carrying out research toward the construction of nuclear energy systems
which simultaneously solve the problems of nuclear proliferation, radioactive
wastes and safety.
Tokyo Tech can thus be called the world's only research
institute where free and various researches are made with an eye to nuclear
energy as a whole. We have accumulated to date many results of international
exchange by holding international conferences. In this project, on the basis
of these results, we will establish "International Research Center for
Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems" and "International Nuclear Energy
Education Base" where research and education will be made with a comprehensive
perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on areas specific to nuclear
energy. Regarding the other areas, we will lay out a framework in which we
can obtain cooperation from within the campus, within the country, or from
the world. We will pursue advanced researches centering on the subjects of
(1) with an overall view of nuclear energy, while providing education through
these researches. We will thus carry out research and education at the highest
level in the world with a comprehensive and international perspective.
When we consider solving the energy resource depletion and global environmental problems and supporting the sustainable development of the world, nuclear energy is placed critical as a future energy. Currently, however, it has many problems. To solve them, research and development is indispensable. Free thinking without sticking to conventional technologies is important for such research. Current status of nuclear energy research in the world as well as in Japan, however, is at a deadlock where the researches are bound to nuclear reactors in operation or under development, or miscellaneous studies without clear prospects. There is no other time than now when advanced researches are required for giving prospects to future nuclear energy. Upon such consideration, we have determined that the two research subjects of this project (innovative nuclear reactor systems, and innovative separation/transmutation systems toward vanishing high-level wastes) are highly important for the whole of nuclear energy technology.
The COE aims at constructing the concepts of nuclear reactor and
fuel cycle, and achieving results in innovative fields of infrastructure
technology researches. This leads to pioneering particularly promising
areas, and great developments of future researches are expected.
The development of innovative nuclear reactors, if successful, will
be transferred to a specialized development institute independent
of the university at some phase. In this case, however, a considerable
part of constituent technologies will be left in the university,
and the development institute will feed back new research subjects,
which will require follow-up researches as well.
In order to support the sustainable development of the world, we will propose
a concrete concept of innovative nuclear reactor, energy utilization systems
using the innovative nuclear reactors, and innovative separation/transmutation
systems. Moreover, we will present an innovative infrastructure technology related
to them. We will establish a research center and education base for realizing
the proposed nuclear reactors, utilization systems and separation/transmutation
systems, and for fostering human resources who promote the research and development
of innovative nuclear energy systems.
||International Research Center for Innovative Nuclear Energy
Systems: This center will be a research base indispensable for a research
network in this area in the world. It will also be a good organization
of cooperation, guidance and advice for nuclear energy development in Asian
||International Nuclear Energy Education Base: This will be an organization
for fostering human resources who can comprehensively consider the nuclear
energy. It will be a training organization for leaders of nuclear energy
development in Asian developing countries. It will provide assistance to
educational organizations in developing countries.