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State Minister Takagi Visited Europe

From August 17 (Mon.) to 23 (Sun.), 2015, Mr. Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Europe to have meetings with officials including dignitaries in Europe regarding measures including energy policies, to visit research facilities related to the final disposal of nuclear waste, and to perform other activities.

1. Meeting with officials including dignitaries regarding measures including energy policies

(1) Meeting with Minister Fergus Ewing

State Minister Takagi had a meeting with Mr. Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism of Scotland, and each introduced to the other his country’s future energy policies in light of recent climate change issues and energy security and exchanged opinions on these policies. In particular, State Minister Takagi was briefed on Scotland’s experiences with the enhancement of the environment for the mass introduction of renewable energy, efforts for the reduction of costs, and various issues surrounding the enhancement of grid connections in Scotland, and both ministers exchanged opinions and advice that will serve as a reference for Japan’s future energy policies. Also, State Minister Takagi was briefed on the actual conditions and issues concerning matters such as the Hunterston Nuclear Power Station, which is actually being decommissioned, and thoroughly explained Japan’s efforts for the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.


Meeting with Minister Ewing

(2) Meeting with Director-General William D. Magwood

State Minister Takagi had a meeting with Mr. William D. Magwood IV, Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA), and explained Japan’s efforts for the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in detail, and they exchanged opinions. In particular, State Minister Takagi expressed his appreciation for the OECD/NEA’s past cooperation with Japan, and they agreed on the importance of communication with domestic and foreign entities as a response after accidents and affirmed that appropriate delivery of information to the world would continue to be conducted in cooperation with the OECD/NEA in the future. Also, State Minister Takagi requested that Director-General William D. Magwood cooperate and participate in the international meetings on the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to be held in April 2016 and obtained the agreement of Director-General Magwood.


Meeting with Director-General Magwood

(3) Meeting with Senator Gérard Longuet

State Minister Takagi had a meeting with Mr. Gérard Longuet, a French Senator, and they exchanged opinions on the situations of Japan and France concerning their policies on the final disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Senator Gérard Longuet provided suggestions that will be a reference for the ideal state of discussions and communications with residents in the area for final disposal site and the establishment of public trust based on his experience. Senator Longuet played a leading role in the promotion of policies on final disposal in France in positions such as cabinet minister and as a senator. The senator was involved in attracting the Bure Underground Research Laboratory, which is conducting research relevant to final disposal, to its current location which is under his jurisdiction. Also, they affirmed the importance of the international sharing of the experience and scientific knowledge of every country in the future, and Mr. Gérard Longuet expressed his view that France was willing to cooperate in providing its experience and knowledge.


Meeting with Senator Gérard Longuet and Mr. Claude Leonard, President of the Departmental Council of Meuse

2. Visit to research facilities related to final disposal and decommissioning of nuclear power plants

(1) Visit to the Bure Underground Research Laboratory

State Minister Takagi visited the Bure Underground Research Laboratory, which is conducting research concerning the final disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in France. It had been decided that the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste would be conducted in the same clay strata as those on which the Laboratory was conducting research in France, and State Minister Takagi visited an experimental shaft about 500 meters below ground and assessed the situation. Various types of research including engineering research on practical applications and geological investigations and research were underway. Japan has accumulated sufficient technologies in the field, and he was able to confirm that it was important to continue to steadily proceed with research and development based on international trends in the future.
Also, State Minister Takagi and Mr. Bernard Faucher of the International Division of the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ANDRA), the organization responsible for disposal, exchanged opinions on the background regarding the selection of candidate sites for facilities for the final disposal of high-level radioactive wastes and the ideal state of communications with residents in the area of disposal facilities. In France, the framework of the Local Information and Oversight Committee (CLIS) was used.


Visit to the Bure Underground Research Laboratory

(2) Visit to the Hunterston Nuclear Power Station

State Minister Takagi visited one nuclear reactor which is being decommissioned (Hunterston A) and another nuclear reactor which is in operation (Hunterston B) at the Hunterston Nuclear Power Station. In particular, when visiting Hunterston A, which had been the largest-scale civil nuclear power reactor in the world at the time it began operations in 1969, State Minister Takagi received detailed explanations concerning matters such as methods and processes for decommissioning and exchanged opinions with the persons of Hunterston A.


Visit to the Hunterston Nuclear Power Station

Release date

August 27, 2015

Division in Charge

International Affairs Division, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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