JUNO: A Network for Japan - UK Nuclear Opportunities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Materials Science and Engineering

Abstract

The UK and Japan have a long established co-operation in the field of civil nuclear energy, originating in the 1960s. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, on 11 March 2011, leading to partial melt down of three boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiici site (Units 1-3), the UK and Japan have established a strong collaboration in the field of nuclear decommissioning and waste management.

The Governments of UK and Japan recognise the importance of stronger collaboration and co-operation in the field of civil nuclear energy, to address the challenges of legacy decommissioning and waste management, and exploitation of nuclear fission technology as a safe, affordable, low carbon energy supply. Accordingly, a Japan - UK framework for Civil Nuclear Co-operation was established in 2012, leading to an annual UK - Japan Nuclear Dialogue to strengthen bi-lateral co-operation in civil nuclear energy.

The JUNO Network for Japan - UK Nuclear Opportunities will build on the annual Nuclear Dialogue, and the existing portfolio of bi-lateral projects established through the EPSRC / MEXT sponsored UK - Japan Civil Nuclear Research Programme. The primary aim is to nurture and network the UK and Japan academic communities in civil nuclear energy, leading to the collaborative development of novel methodologies and tools, to address common challenges in decommissioning and waste management, reactor safety and regulation, nuclear energy policy, public communication and engagement, and environmental safety.

To realise this aim, the Network will organise a regular Network meeting and theme focused discussions, with a focus on knowledge exchange, deriving research questions, developing collaborative projects, and disseminating experience and outcomes. The Network will pump prime and monitor development of collaborations through targeted support for short visits, secondments, pilot scale projects and other activities.

Planned Impact

The impact of this research will have both international reach and significance by addressing the shared research and development priorities identified in the UK / Japan Nuclear Dialogue: decommissioning and waste management; nuclear policy; public communication; nuclear safety and regulation; and environmental safety.

These priorities also resonate with the UK Government's Nuclear Industry Strategy to achieve: continuous improvements in nuclear safety; ensuring effective waste management and decommissioning plans are in place; driving down the costs of nuclear power to benefit domestic and industrial consumers through strategic policy actions; and establishing effective collaborations at home and overseas on R&D and innovation.

A key impact of the Network will be to create the positive and engaging environment necessary to support nucleation and growth of professional and interpersonal relationships between researchers in the UK and Japan. This will enable the development of multi-partner interdisciplinary collaborations to define challenging research problems, within our core themes, and the expansive and creative thinking required to address them. Collectively, the talent, resource and facilities of these new UK / Japan collaborations should deliver research outcomes in our core themes of greater significance and impact. As the Network matures, these new partnerships should lead to more substantial research projects, which themselves will address the joint research priorities of the UK and Japan.

The beneficiaries from this research may therefore include: waste management and disposal authorities; nuclear power operators; Government and non-executive advisory bodies; regulators; the public; and researchers in the relevant field. The benefit and impact achieved through network activities and the collaboration it affords will be primarily through new knowledge, methods, models and tools which will reduce the hazard and cost of nuclear power generation and decommissioning, with improved public acceptance.
 
Description In its first full year of operation, the JUNO Network has successfully supported the development of UK - Japan collaboration in civil nuclear energy through its activities. Key highlights include:
* Formation of a strong partnership with the British Embassy in Japan, to support networking and research visits, in Japan, through effective engagement with key stakeholders (e.g. JAEA, MEXT, JST, TEPCO) and creation of a Collaboration Directory to match UK researchers with counterparts in Japan.
* Delivery of a joint session at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan spring meeting 2017, to showcase and review the research outcomes of joint projects sponsored by the UK EPSRC / Japan MEXT Civil Nuclear Energy Collaboration.
* Delivery of a networking event, co-organised with the British Embassy in Tokyo, to bring together research leaders from Japan and the UK to identify and prioritise bilateral research topics for future collaboration.
* Engagement in the intergovernmental Sixth UK - Japan Nuclear Dialogue, to communicate the outcomes of network activities and future plans to key policy makers.
* Creation of a website as a repository of Network activities and outputs for members and other interested parties.
Exploitation Route At this stage, the research knowledge and partnerships formed by the network will be taken forward by end users (e.g. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, National Nuclear Laboratory, and Site Licence Companies in the UK; and their counterparts, NSF, JAEA, and TEPCO in Japan) through participation in network activities and the research stimulated by this engagement. Network meetings and workshops will present an opportunity for end users to present research challenges to network members and engage in intensive problem solving activities, to derive solutions which are rooted in UK / Japan collaboration. The pump priming mechanisms of the Network provide a resource to support these collaborations. End users will be consulted in developing the priorities and scope of proposal calls for pump priming projects, to ensure relevance to end user needs. End users will also have access to outcome reports, which will provide a pathway to impact through knowledge transfer and shared experience.
Sectors Education,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy

URL https://juno.ac.uk
 
Description The JUNO network has been successful in growing research partnerships between the UK and Japan to support decommissioning of the legacy of civil nuclear power generation in both nation states. This has generated new joint research projects which are themselves creating new knowledge to address specific decommissioning challenges such as the characterisation and retrieval of degraded nuclear fuels at Fukushima Dai-ici. The Network activities have also informed the intergovernmental UK - Japan Nuclear Dialogue in identifying and prioritising future topics and mechanisms for bilateral research.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description NIRAB II membership
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Photon Factory KEK Hard X-ray Beamline BL9 
Organisation High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Application of total electron yield detection to characterisation of ion beam amorphised surface layers on ceramic wasteforms.
Collaborator Contribution Access to and training on Photon Factory BL9.
Impact See publication section.
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK Embassy in Japan 
Organisation British Embassy Tokyo
PI Contribution We have worked closely with the British Embassy in Japan to organise events and visits of the JUNO network in Japan, including joint sessions at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan spring meetings, site visits (e.g. to Fukushima Dai-ici), networking meetings to bring together research leaders from the UK and Japan, collaboration forming meetings with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and engagement with the intergovernmental UK / Japan Nuclear Dialogue. We have also worked closely in selecting the key research leaders to participate in these events.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners in the British Embassy in Japan have supported the activities of the network through matched financial and in kind support (to deliver in country networking events and scientific meetings) and access to the science and innovation network to connect with key stakeholders in Japan with whom we need to engage.
Impact Key outcomes include: * Joint sessions in the Atomic Energy Society of Japan spring meetings to showcase joint UK / Japan research; * Networking workshops to stimulate and nurture new bilateral collaborations; * Research visits to the Fukushima Dai-ici and JAEA Tokai sites to facilitate knowledge transfer; * Participation in the intergovernmental UK / Japan Nuclear Dialogue - to communicate network activities and outcomes.
Start Year 2016
 
Description 3rd UK - Japan Nuclear Forum, UK Embassy, Tokyo, Japan. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Prof. Neil Hyatt was invited to attend the 3rd UK - Japan Nuclear Forum at the UK Embassy, Tokyo, on 5 February 2019, as the lead of the JUNO network and a joint research project funded under the UK - Japan EPSRC / MEXT civil nuclear programme. The event provided an opportunity to disseminate (by poster, literature and face to face discussion) the activities and outcomes of the network and project to industry leaders, policy makers, and senior academics in Japan, and promote wider UK - Japan collaboration in nuclear energy and decommissioning. Several follow up requests for further information were received following the event and three new collaborations are under development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bilateral UK- Japan research collaboration workshop and reception at Spring Meeting of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, 27 March 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A half day workshop and networking reception to promote UK - Japan collaboration in civil nuclear energy was organised at the Spring Meeting of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, 27 March 2018, in Osaka, in partnership with the UK Embassy in Japan. The workshop involved 30 participants from the UK and Japan, exchanging presentations on their research and collaboration interests, followed by an expert panel session on joint research challenges and priorities for Sellafield and Fukushima Dai-ici decommissioning. The JUNO network organised the programme, facilitated discussion, and supported attendance and participation by 15 UK research leaders from universities and research organisations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Co-ordinated Research Project on Management Degraded Nuclear Fuel and Corium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Collaborative integrated knowledge exchange project to share understanding of degraded fuel and corium characterisation and treatment. Research outcomes will form an IAEA technical document.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Collaboration building meeting with Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 30 March 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A bilateral meeting was organised with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to showcase joint UK / Japan research in civil nuclear energy and potential opportunities for future collaboration. The meeting highlighted characterisation and retrieval of corium material at Fukushima as a topic of particular interest, which seeded a successful grant application under the phase four of the UK EPSRC / Japan MEXT civil nuclear energy collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description IAEA Summer School on Radiation Effects on Radioactive Wasteforms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Organised Joint ICTP-IAEA Workshop on Radiation Effects in Nuclear Waste Forms and their Consequences for Storage and Disposal, 12-16 September 2016, with engagement of over 30 international researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://indico.ictp.it/event/7633/
 
Description JUNO website: www.juno.ac.uk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A website was created to disseminate the mission, aims, objectives and support mechanisms of the JUNO network; this has served as the first point of contact for members and interested parties to find out more about the network, access presentations and reports, and request further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://juno.ac.uk
 
Description Joint Workshop for the UK-Japan Civil Research Programme: Nuclear Decommissioning 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The JUNO Network co-organised, with the Nuclear Safety Research Association (Japan), a workshop from 6 - 7 February to develop UK - Japan collaboration in nuclear decommissioning. An open process was managed to select a UK team of 25 senior and early career research leaders, to attend a two day workshop in Kyoto, with counterparts in Japan, with the aim of defining common research challenges in UK - Japan nuclear decommissioning to inform future funding calls to the joint civil nuclear research programme. Delegates worked through a series of facilitated sessions to capture and prioritise research challenges, methodologies, and facility requirements. Participant feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with ca. 95% of participants indicating that the event had met or exceed their expectations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Jointly organised a session at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan Spring Meeting, to showcase outcomes of joint UK EPSRC / Japan MEXT projects, Tokai, Japan, 29 March 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A session was organised at the Atomic Energy Society of Japan Spring Meeting in Tokai, which took place on 29 March 2017, to showcase joint UK / Japan research in the civil nuclear energy programme. The session attracted ca. 50 participants and elicited discussion both on the technical aspects of the research and the opportunities and benefits of UK / Japan collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Organised: MRS Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management Symposium, 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Organised the MRS Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management Symposium, 2018, which attracted more than 100 experts from around the world for a 4 day symposium on state of the art research outcomes in the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participation in International Glass Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation in International Glass Working Group - dissemination of research outcomes from multiple EPSRC sponsored projects with the aim of developing a state of the art unified model for glass corrosion, relevant to radioactive waste disposal; participation in expert group designing collaborative international experiments using International Standard Glass.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Participation in Seventh UK / Japan Nuclear Dialogue, London, 24-25 October 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The JUNO network was invited to present its mission and activities supporting joint UK / Japan research in civil nuclear energy at the 7th UK - Japan Nuclear Dialogue, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo, Japan, co-chaired by Prof Robin Grimes (Chief Scientific Adviser, FCO, UK) and Mr Kawasaki,(Deputy Director-General, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department, MOFA, Japan). The meeting was attended by senior policy makers in civil nuclear energy in the UK and Japan (including representatives of BEIS and MEXT). Participants from Japan requested further information on the network and its activities to disseminate to key research leaders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/seventh-annual-uk-japan-nuclear-dialogue
 
Description Participation in Sixth UK / Japan Nuclear Dialogue, London, 26-27 October 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The JUNO network was invited to present its mission and activities supporting joint UK / Japan research in civil nuclear energy at the 6th UK - Japan Nuclear Dialogue, which took place at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, co-chaired by Prof Robin Grimes (Chief Scientific Adviser, FCO, UK) and Mr Makoto Hayashi (Director, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department, MOFA, Japan). The meeting was attended by senior policy makers in civil nuclear energy in the UK and Japan (including representatives of BEIS and MEXT). Participants from Japan requested further information on the network and its activities to disseminate to key research leaders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sixth-annual-uk-japan-nuclear-dialogue
 
Description Participation in expert panel on decommissioning Fukushima Dai-ici at ICONE 26 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation in expert panel on decommissioning Fukushima Dai-ici at ICONE 26, London, UK, and contribution of UK research groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at UK - Japan Technology Showcase, Tokyo, 26 March 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to audience at joint UK / Japan networking and collaboration building workshop, to disseminate the role and opportunities of the JUNO network in supporting bilateral collaboration in civil nuclear energy. The presentation elicited interest from new members to join the network and participate in its activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://junouk.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/juno-jst-workshop-2017.pdf
 
Description Radiation affected robots in decommissioning the Fukushima Dai-ici site 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A recorded interview with the PI was broadcast on Sputnik Radio - World in Focus, 6 March 2017, giving an up to date assessment of the situation at Fukushima Dai-ici and the problematic effects of radiation fields on the performance and failure of robots used in the decommissioning process; the broadcast elicited direct contact from members of the public interested in finding out more about our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UK - Japan Collaborative Research Showcase in Nuclear Decommissioning at Spring Meeting of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, 27 March 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In partnership with the UK Embassy in Japan, a UK - Japan Collaborative Research Showcase in Nuclear Decommissioning was organised at Spring Meeting of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, on 27 March 2018. The JUNO network supported attendance by 15 UK delegates from universities and research organisations. The UK and Japan PIs (or their delegates) of joint UK - Japan EPSRC / MEXT research projects presented the key outcomes of their research in Phase 1-3 projects to an audience of ca. 100 conference delegates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description UK / Japan Technology Showcase, 26 March 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A networking event organised to bring together research leaders in civil nuclear energy in Japan and UK. Approximately 40 participants co-created a set of research challenges around themes in nuclear decommissioning, waste management, environmental remediation and reactor technology to identify and prioritise UK - Japan collaboration. The networking was successful in developing new collaborations which were successful in grant application for the fourth phase of the UK EPSRC / Japan MEXT collaboration in civil nuclear energy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description UK research leaders visit to Fukushima Dai-ici, 28 March 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A visit to the Fukushima Dai-ici site was organised for 12 UK research leaders to engage with experts in the site decommissioning company (TEPCO). Participants engaged in a technical presentation and guided tour of the site and facilities by TEPCO staff. The field trip assisted the UK team in focusing the development of research and grant proposals to address specific site needs and informed the development of taught course materials.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science and Nahara Technology Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A visit for 15 senior and early career researchers was organsied to the Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science and Nahara Technology Centre, Japan on 28 March 2018. The facilities toured included the core melt down experiment and analytical laboratories at CLADS and robot test deployment environment at NTC, providing UK delegates with first hand insight and understanding of state of the art research facilities available in Japan to support collaboration. Additionally, two seminars were delivered by the CLADS Director and research leads, providing an overview of all available research facilities and capabilities, their technical specification, mechanisms for access and opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit to Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, Kyoto University. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A visit for 25 senior and early career researchers was organsied to Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, Kyoto University, Japan on 8 February 2019. The facilities toured included the Kyoto University Research Reactor and Critical Assembly, providing UK delegates with first hand insight and understanding of state of the art research facilities available in Japan to support collaboration. Additionally, two expert seminars were delivered by the Deputy Director of the Institute, providing an overview of all available facilities and capabilities, their technical specification, mechanisms for access and opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit to Tokai Mura nuclear research site 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A visit for 15 senior and early career researchers was organsied to the Tokai Mura nuclear research facility, Japan on 29 March 2018. The facilities toured included the critical assembly and actinide hot cell facilities, providing UK delegates with first hand insight and understanding of state of the art research facilities available in Japan to support collaboration. Additionally, seminars were delivered by the Deputy Director and research leads, providing an overview of all available research facilities and capabilities, their technical specification, mechanisms for access and opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018