UK Decommissioning Support at Fukushima Daiichi

Dr Keith Franklin, Head of the Nuclear Team at the British Embassy in Tokyo, speaks with John Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) about the ways in which the UK is supporting decommissioning and clean-up at Fukushima Daiichi power station. 

“The UK is supporting the decommissioning at Fukushima Daiichi in a number of ways. From a strategic policy direction level we have Adrian Simper, the Strategy and Technology Director of the NDA involved in offering advice to those who are developing policy – how to restructure the industry and how to tackle things. We’ve signed a cooperation agreement between TEPCO and Sellafield Limited for work that can go on there. We’ve had a whole host of people from Tokyo Electric come to visit the UK, Sellafield in particular, but other sites as well, and we have a representative of Tokyo Electric currently seconded to the NDA for a period of time. So on a whole host of levels from policy all the way through to implementation,” said Clarke.

It is clear that there in an appetite in Japan for UK expertise when it comes to decommissioning.

According to Clarke, “The Japanese are keen to learn from other people’s experiences; they are particularly interested in learning how the UK has approached decommissioning but also the practical hands on aspects, especially in more challenging areas.”

The bulk of the work is expected to be taken on by Japanese companies, but there is also a desire to learn from what other nations have done.

Particular areas of UK expertise that look set to be of value include the development of techniques for the retrieval of highly radioactive waste.

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