This book covers essential aspects of transmutation
technologies, highlighting especially the advances in Japan. The
accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has
caused us to focus attention on a large amount of spent nuclear
fuels stored in NPPs. In addition, public anxiety regarding the
treatment and disposal of high-level radioactive wastes that
require long-term control is growing. The Japanese policy on the
back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle is still unpredictable in the
aftermath of the accident. Therefore, research and development for
enhancing the safety of various processes involved in nuclear
energy production are being actively pursued worldwide. In
particular, nuclear transmutation technology has been drawing
significant attention after the accident.
This publication is timely with the following highlights: 1)
Development of accelerator-driven systems (ADSs), which is a
brand-new reactor concept for transmutation of highly radioactive
wastes; 2) Nuclear reactor systems from the point of view of the
nuclear fuel cycle. How to reduce nuclear wastes or how to treat
them including the debris from TEPCO s Fukushima nuclear power
stations is discussed; and 3) Environmental radioactivity,
radioactive waste treatment and geological disposal policy.
State-of-the-art technologies for overall back-end issues of the
nuclear fuel cycle as well as the technologies of transmutation are
presented here. The chapter authors are actively involved in the
development of ADSs and transmutation-related technologies. The
future of the back-end issues in Japan is very uncertain after the
accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and this book provides an
opportunity for readers to consider the future direction of those
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