IAEA, Okayama University join efforts in radioactive waste management and environmental remediation

Shinichi Yamamoto (left) and
Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov signed the
Practical Arrangements on behalf of Okayama
University and the IAEA on 29 June 2015.

30 June 2015 | A new agreement signed in Vienna formalized the cooperation between the IAEA and Japan's Okayama University in the area of research and higher education in radioactive waste management and environmental remediation.

“The IAEA is committed to assisting its Member States in safe and sustainable radioactive waste management," said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, who signed the Practical Arrangements yesterday on behalf of the organization.

"These are very complex issues and require cooperation with internationally recognized institutions, such as the Okayama University. Practical Arrangements represent one of our mechanisms to achieve that."

The Practical Arrangements build on already established cooperation with the Okayama University. They foresee cooperation in research activities, establishment and implementation of educational programmes and courses as well as exchange of experiences and good practices in radioactive waste management and remediation activities.

“Our goal is to strengthen education and research programmes at our University through this formal agreement," said Kiyoshi Morita, President of the Okayama University. "At the same time, we hope to contribute to capacity building and human resource development around the world."

Shinichi Yamamoto, Vice President and Executive Director of the University, added that the agreement would help disseminate scientific information concerning radioactive waste, which currently has a negative image in the world and especially in Japan, after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. "However," he said, "looking at the uses and benefits of nuclear technology, we can see its important role also in medicine, engineering and agriculture. Hence, we must solve the difficult problem of safe, economical and effective disposal of radioactive wastes." Mr Morita and Mr Yamamoto, signed the Practical Arrangements on behalf of the Okayama University.

Management of radioactive waste from both power and non-power applications of nuclear technologies remains an important challenge for many Member States. The IAEA’s Waste Technology Section of the Nuclear Energy Department fosters transfer of technologies and promotes exchange of information and cooperative research, as well as capacity building in Member States.

The Practical Arrangements between IAEA and Okayama University came into force on 29 June 2015.

- By Irena Chatzis – IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy

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