Of the global challenges that have to be addressed in view of the projected expanded use of nuclear energy, none is more significant than dealing safely, efficiently and environmentally friendly with spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
Although the amount of used nuclear fuel generated per unit of electricity is relatively small in size in comparison with other industrial waste, spent nuclear fuel contains radiotoxic elements present for hundreds of thousands of years, and its final disposal requires resolution of many technical, regulatory, political, and social issues. By conducting a green and safety R&D program on the recycling of spent nuclear fuel and on the management of radioactive waste, our department is developing technological options to current practices to enable the safe, secure, environmentally friendly, economic, and sustainable expansion of nuclear energy while reducing proliferation risks. Besides, the development of innovative fuel cycle materials for spent fuel recycling and storage, and radioactive waste forms is included in our major research topics. Our research is mainly focused on the science-based, long-term safety research and the development of technologies and policies with the potential to yield transformational changes to the way in which nuclear fuel cycle, and particularly spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, is managed. Furthermore, nurturing high quality education for development of human resources having professional competence on nuclear fuel cycle issues is one of our major goals.