Human Beings Cannot Avoid Depending on Nuclear Energy as Well as Other Energy Resources, Including Renewable Energy, Which Do Not Emit CO2
into the Air
It is now very clear that it is almost impossible for renewable energy to replace fossil fuel in the near future. Both nuclear energy and renewable energy are necessary, not only in Japan but also in the world. At the same time we must develop a new technology to compensate for CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
Nuclear Technology Must be Developed
Safety Technology of Nuclear Energy Must Be Developed for the Future
Concerning nuclear energy, we must not stop researching and developing new advanced reactors in which greater safety is guaranteed against natural calamities as well as manmade disaster. Small-scale nuclear reactors also should be developed to decentralize electric power stations. If economical problems are overcome, smaller-scale reactors might be easier to guarantee safety.
Technology for the Back-end of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Must Be Enhanced. The Site for Final Disposal of Nuclear Wastes Must be Determined as Soon
as Possible in Japan, Which is a Responsibility of the Central Government
I have learned that technology for the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle has already been well developed, but it still does not seem to be working well.
I hope that the solutions will be realized as soon as possible. Especially, the location for final disposal of nuclear wastes must be determined as soon as possible, and this is really a responsibility of the National Government to determine the location for the final disposal.
Not only Japan, but almost all countries including Germany, USA, Britain, and Russia, have not yet decided the location for final disposal, excepting Finland and Sweden. This decision must be made irrespective of whether nuclear power stations are to be continued.
Research and Development of Innovative Technologies, Such as Accelerator-Driven Systems, Must Be Promoted to Encourage the Progress of Final Disposal
It is extremely important to shorten the lifetimes of many radioactive nuclei in nuclear wastes. The role of nuclear transmutation technology is one of the main themes of this Symposium. The accelerator-driven system is one of the most promising methods to transmute radioactive nuclei to those of shorter lifetimes.
In Japan, the Omega project, which includes an accelerator-driven system, has been discussed for more than 10 years. I have helped to establish the J-PARC because one of its purposes is to develop the transmutation technology.
I expect that Dr. Hiroyuki Oigawa will tell us about the accelerator-driven system.
I would like to learn about the present situation of the transmutation technology in Japan and in the world.
The Research and Development of Nuclear Technologies for Reactor Decommissioning, Safety Technology, Back-end, etc., Must Be Promoted Intensively Through International Cooperation
Nuclear technologies for reactor decommissioning, safety technology, back-end, etc., must be urgently developed. They are very important, especially in Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident.
These technologies, however, are also desired in all countries that already have nuclear power stations, and also in countries which are planning nuclear power stations. These technologies therefore should be researched and developed through international cooperation. Fukushima would be a very good candidate for us to construct an international center for researching and developing technologies for reactor decommissioning.
For the future of human beings, nuclear technology is indispensable to guarantee the safety of energy and to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, which causes global warming.
For promoting nuclear technology, we must encourage young researchers to be interested in nuclear science and engineering. Education is very important for this purpose.
You who are experts in nuclear science and technology should be very proud of your specialty. It is the most important time for you to solve very difficult problems after the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. I sincerely hope that you will overcome this crisis caused by the Fukushima accident.
Let us change the misfortune into good luck for the future of human beings. I hope that this Symposium will succeed in producing good fruits.