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Research and Development on High-level Radioactive Waste and TRU waste

RWMC started research and development (R&D) on high-level radioactive waste(HLW) in development of a receiving system for returning HLW from the overseas reprocessing and feasibility study on management of HLW. Following these projects, we conducted research on long-term stability of geological structure necessary for geological disposal, study on implementing system of geological disposal. In addition, we have been developing and providing appropriate technical information for national policy planning, as well as safety standards and regulation for HLW disposal.
After " the Designated Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act " was enacted in 2000, Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), geological disposal implementing entity, was established to start siting process of geological repository. In response to this movement, RWMC has been promoting various R&D programs on engineered barrier system (EBS) and repository operation technologies including quality control and long-term performance of EBS materials and retrieval of once-emplaced waste package through the tests with variety of scales in small, large and full-scale demonstration.
In addition, RWMC has been conducting research on important basic technologies that require a long period of time to develop by collaboration with universities.
Regarding TRU waste, " the Designated Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act " was amended to designate NUMO as an implementing entity of TRU waste disposal in 2007. RWMC also has been conducting R&D on conditioning and disposal concepts, disposal technologies, and study on basic phenomenon for performance assessment for TRU waste disposal.
Together with these research projects, we also have been conducting projects to promote understanding of geological disposal.


indicates currently active research

1.R&D on Engineering Technologies for HLW Disposal


· Remote welding of overpack lid closure
· Non-destructive testing for overpack lid-closure welds
· Manufacturing and emplacement of buffer materials
· Monitoring technology for repository systems
Structural integrity and corrosion characteristics of overpack closure welds
Re-saturation phenomena of buffer materials
Monitoring technologies and programs for quality and performance confirmation of repository
Retrieval and repository maintenance technologies
Engineering technologies for coastal area repository program


Re-saturation test for buffer materials at the underground research laboratory in Horonobe(the URL)



In-situ corrosion test for overpack welds at the URL


From "Disposal System Engineering Demonstration Technology Development"




▲Full-scale demonstration of PEM for the horizontal emplacement concept



▲Demonstration area at the URL

Retrieval and repository maintenance technologies


From "Feasibility Study and Advanced Technology Development for Reversibility and Retrievability "

2.R&D on Engineering Technologies for TRU Waste Disposal


・Waste container for improving confinement function of long-lived nuclides
Immobilization technology of lodine-129 important for safety assessment
Release behavior of Carbon-14 from irradiated metals
Long-term interaction and evolution of cementitious materials and bentonite materials
Natural analogue of bentonite material
Migration behavior of gas generated in repository




Immobilization technology of radioactive iodine
(melting furnace for vitrification of iodine containing waste)


Natural analog survey of buffer materials in Palawan Island,Philippines
From "Advancement of Processing and Disposal Technique for the Geological disposal of TRU Waste" "


3.Research on Criteria and Standards


・Classification of TRU waste and safety assessment method
・Scenario in TRU waste disposal
Safety standards of geological disposal

4.Promotion of Understanding of Disposal

・Publishing brochures for public relation
Open operation of the actual scale test facility to provide realizing,feeling and understanding concept, engineering     feasibility and long-term behavior of geological disposal