Approval of NUMO as the implementing organization for final disposal of 2nd class specified radioactive waste

April 2, 2008

We would like to announce that NUMO has been approved by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as the implementing organization for final disposal of 2nd class specified radioactive waste, in line with the “Specified Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act”.

In accordance with a revision to the “Final Disposal Act” in June 2007, low-exothermic radioactive waste with long half-lives (TRU waste) is classified as low-level waste and is included in 2nd class specified radioactive waste requiring geological disposal (more than 300 m below ground). It is generated by reprocessing and in MOX fuel fabrication plants.

Given NUMO's technical knowledge and experience with geological disposal of high-level waste and its economic and operational efficiency, NUMO has decided to take responsibility for 2nd class specified waste as well as for high-level waste (1st class specified radioactive waste), both of which require geological disposal.

NUMO will call for municipalities to volunteer as candidate areas for literature surveys on the feasibility of siting a final disposal facility for TRU waste. As soon as preparations are completed, NUMO will send materials on geological disposal of 2nd class specified radioactive waste to municipalities throughout the country.

As the implementing organization for waste disposal, NUMO will continue to actively tackle this issue in collaboration with the Japanese government and the utilities.