[Claim] "First year of geological disposal" Sustainable nuclear power generation It is a way to build a carbon-free society
The third year of Reiwa has begun as the actual "first year of geological disposal" in Japan.
High-level radioactive waste (nuclear waste) generated by nuclear power generation is processed into vitrified waste and is to be buried in a tunnel in a deep underground rock body according to the final disposal method.
The first step in the process of selecting that point, the "literature survey," will begin in earnest in January in Suttsu-cho, Hokkaido and Kamoenai-mura. It was decided last fall to accept a literature survey to confirm the geological information of both towns and villages, but the full-scale development of the business for about two years will start from this month. I want to deepen the understanding of the importance of geological disposal projects for the entire nation.
≪More literature research sites≫
The scope of the literature search covers areas such as land uplift and erosion, eruptions, earthquakes and active faults, and mineral resources.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO), which promotes the geological disposal project, is conducting a second-stage "summary survey" from the land in Suttsu Town and Kamoenai Village based on geological data obtained from documents such as existing papers and reports. Look for areas that are several kilometers square with the potential to proceed.
In parallel with this survey, NUMO will make staff stationed locally and focus on "dialogue activities" with residents.
At the dialogue, we will not only explain the geological disposal technology, the mechanism for ensuring safety, and the geology of the region, but also deepen the discussion about the effects that will be reflected in the local socio-economics if the disposal project progresses.
This kind of two-way communication between residents and NUMO is important. In Finland and Sweden, which are leading the geological disposal of nuclear waste, it is said that there are good examples of exchanging opinions in dialogue activities to prevent reputational damage to local industries.
It's a very helpful precedent. I would like NUMO and the government to disseminate the progress of dialogue activities nationwide in an easy-to-understand manner.
Some cities, towns and villages may not be able to make the decision to apply while being interested in literature research. Transparent, concrete and lively discussions should push the back of such municipalities.
It is desirable that the literature search be conducted not only from Hokkaido but also from Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The ideal form of geological disposal site selection is that multiple geological lands are gradually narrowed down from literature surveys to summary surveys and detailed surveys, and after about 20 years, the final location is finally determined as the optimum site. ..
The rationality of geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste has become an international consensus. Finland and Sweden have already decided the disposal site, and the United States, whose examination is suspended, is also at this stage. France is at the stage of a detailed survey, and Switzerland, China, Canada and Russia are at the stage of a summary survey.
In the case of Canada, as of 2010, more than 20 local governments have expressed interest in geological disposal, and boring surveys will begin at two locations this spring.
≪Promote understanding through dialogue activities≫
As a result of the use of nuclear energy for half a century, high-level radioactive waste continues to increase and exists as an issue awaiting geological disposal. We need to be aware that we have enjoyed the convenience of nuclear power without our knowledge. If you forget it, you will be inclined to an emotional and one-sided opposition movement.
The literature survey is also expected to have the effect of spreading understanding of geological disposal to the entire population through dialogue activities. Naomichi Suzuki, the governor of Hokkaido, continues to be reluctant to search the literature, but his politician's horizons are too narrow. You should be aware that it is an act of picking the buds of sound debate.
Geological disposal is an essential business for making nuclear power generation sustainable and circulating the nuclear fuel cycle.
The government is aiming for virtually zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. To achieve this, it is essential to utilize nuclear power generation, which is a stable power source with high output, as well as renewable energy such as solar power and wind power generation.
In order to promote the resilience of Japan's energy while following the global trend of decarbonization, geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste is necessary.
Last year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that the safety measures of the reprocessing plant and MOX fuel plant of Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture) meet the new regulatory standards. Both are the core facilities of the nuclear fuel cycle. Along with geological disposal, this is a step forward in the nuclear back-end business field.
Only hard opposition will leave you out of the tide of the world.