Tokyo Institute of Technology, 21st COE Program -Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems for Sustainable Development of the World-
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About the Plan Targets and Importance
Blueprint of the Project
Targets and Importance
Targets and needs:
 With respect to the research subjects of this project, we have always pursued state-of-the-art researches in the world in collaboration with the Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors in Tokyo Tech. More than ten years ago, we started a systematic research toward "Construction of self-consistent nuclear energy systems," in which we studied a fuel cycle toward zero-release of radioactive wastes and a nuclear reactor that can assure safety by the mechanism of nature alone without resort to equipments and operators. Currently the research on nuclear proliferation resistance is added to them. We are now carrying out research toward the construction of nuclear energy systems which simultaneously solve the problems of nuclear proliferation, radioactive wastes and safety.

  Tokyo Tech can thus be called the world's only research institute where free and various researches are made with an eye to nuclear energy as a whole. We have accumulated to date many results of international exchange by holding international conferences. In this project, on the basis of these results, we will establish "International Research Center for Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems" and "International Nuclear Energy Education Base" where research and education will be made with a comprehensive perspective. Particular emphasis will be placed on areas specific to nuclear energy. Regarding the other areas, we will lay out a framework in which we can obtain cooperation from within the campus, within the country, or from the world. We will pursue advanced researches centering on the subjects of (1) with an overall view of nuclear energy, while providing education through these researches. We will thus carry out research and education at the highest level in the world with a comprehensive and international perspective.

  When we consider solving the energy resource depletion and global environmental problems and supporting the sustainable development of the world, nuclear energy is placed critical as a future energy. Currently, however, it has many problems. To solve them, research and development is indispensable. Free thinking without sticking to conventional technologies is important for such research. Current status of nuclear energy research in the world as well as in Japan, however, is at a deadlock where the researches are bound to nuclear reactors in operation or under development, or miscellaneous studies without clear prospects. There is no other time than now when advanced researches are required for giving prospects to future nuclear energy. Upon such consideration, we have determined that the two research subjects of this project (innovative nuclear reactor systems, and innovative separation/transmutation systems toward vanishing high-level wastes) are highly important for the whole of nuclear energy technology.

 The COE aims at constructing the concepts of nuclear reactor and fuel cycle, and achieving results in innovative fields of infrastructure technology researches. This leads to pioneering particularly promising areas, and great developments of future researches are expected.
 The development of innovative nuclear reactors, if successful, will be transferred to a specialized development institute independent of the university at some phase. In this case, however, a considerable part of constituent technologies will be left in the university, and the development institute will feed back new research subjects, which will require follow-up researches as well.

Expected results:
 In order to support the sustainable development of the world, we will propose a concrete concept of innovative nuclear reactor, energy utilization systems using the innovative nuclear reactors, and innovative separation/transmutation systems. Moreover, we will present an innovative infrastructure technology related to them. We will establish a research center and education base for realizing the proposed nuclear reactors, utilization systems and separation/transmutation systems, and for fostering human resources who promote the research and development of innovative nuclear energy systems.

(1) International Research Center for Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems: This center will be a research base indispensable for a research network in this area in the world. It will also be a good organization of cooperation, guidance and advice for nuclear energy development in Asian developing countries.
(2) International Nuclear Energy Education Base: This will be an organization for fostering human resources who can comprehensively consider the nuclear energy. It will be a training organization for leaders of nuclear energy development in Asian developing countries. It will provide assistance to educational organizations in developing countries.

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