Fukushima from the back-end of the fuel cycle and waste management
Professor Joonhong Ahn
University of California, BerkeleyWhile the crippled reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power
Station are yet to reach cold shut-down state, the rate of radioactivity release from the site has significantly decreased. Now the main focus has turned to environmental remediation, treatment, and eventual disposal of contaminated materials. These actions will be heavily dependent on the level of "cleanness" desired by the public, the availability of technologies, and the costs incurred in such actions. Public discussions on this post-accident treatment will inevitably initiate reflection on Japan's nuclear fuel cycle policy, particularly on its back-end part, i.e., interim storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and final geological disposal of various levels of radioactive wastes. The talk will present an overview of such topics in the waste management field and discuss what future impacts on nuclear power may be.