On the Revision of the Basic Policy on the Final Disposal of Specified Radioactive Waste

The Government revised the Basic Policy on the Final Disposal of Specified Radioactive Waste. This is the first overall revision of it since the establishment in 2000.

Recognizing the realization of a deep geological repository (DGR) for radioactive waste as a benefit for the whole society, the new Basic Policy stresses that it is a responsibility of the present generation to steadily promote activities to realize the deep geological disposal of radioactive waste so as not to transfer undue burdens to future generations. It specifies the importance of promoting diverse activities to gain public understanding on the importance and safety of a DGR and facilitating activities for consensus-building in municipalities that are interested in accepting the siting of a DGR. It also specifies that it is important to announce scientifically suitable areas for siting a DGR and to assure the reversibility of a project and the retrievability of the waste that is disposed of.

On May 22, 2015, Shunsuke Kondo, President of NUMO said, “Taking this opportunity, I would like to reaffirm NUMO’s determination to move forward with the activities to achieve the realization of the geological disposal of radioactive waste in accordance with the new Basic Policy, in close collaboration with the Government and the electric power companies.”

“NUMO will strive continuously both for improving the knowledge base for the design and safety assessment of a DGR with a view to preparing the background for site selection and licensing applications, and for promoting dialogue with the public in various sectors and generations by strengthening information dissemination capacity.”

“In parallel with the above, NUMO will review and implement following measures, in accordance with the new Basic Policy,

  1. Providing diverse learning opportunities about the geological disposal for the public.
  2. Coordinating intensive dialogue activities in the scientifically suitable areas announced by the Government.
  3. Supporting volunteers to establish and operate a venue for information exchange and dialogue among the residents in such areas.
  4. Planning and performing researches on socio-economic effects of siting a DGR in a municipality.
  5. Enhancing the R&D of repository science and technology comprehensively, systematically and effectively, including a measure to secure the retrievability of the waste to be disposed of.”

“NUMO will carry out above measures proactively by recognizing the high publicness of the geological disposal more than ever.”