Statement by Minister MATSUO Hirotaka at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 9 March 2020 : Item 4: Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications: Nuclear Technology Review 2020
Thank you, Madam Chair,
Japan welcomes the“Nuclear Technology Review 2020”as a useful tool that summarizes and provides information on notable technological developments in the fields of both nuclear power and non-power applications in 2019.
We expect that the IAEA will continue to play a major role in the field of nuclear energy and non-energy applications to achieve the SDGs advocated by the United Nations.
In addition, we look forward to the continued cooperation of Member States with the Agency to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
With regard to topics of global interest, such as the contribution of nuclear power and non-electric applications to mitigate the effects of climate change, we expect continued analysis on its application to these global challenge will be conducted.
The IAEA's Coordinated Research Projects, CRP initiative aims to maximize the effective and efficient use of the knowledge of each Member State for development needs and to share the results. We recognize this as an important effort by the Agency in terms of the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
The Nuclear Technology Review 2020 has noted the establishment of new CRPs. We hope that these projects will develop, and we look forward to the information and results of the projects being shared among the Member States.
Additionally, I would like to emphasize that strengthening partnerships with the private sector is effective for completing important projects. It would be appreciated if the Secretariat can actively disseminate information on its outreach activities to the private sector.
In connection to the Nuclear Technology Review 2020, I would like to highlight some technologies that Japan values as important, along with the status of their development.
The Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is a promising treatment that does not damage normal tissue and requires fewer irradiations. We welcome the increasing number of facilities and projects related to BNCT around the world.
In Japan, research and clinical trials are being conducted for the practical application of BNCT using accelerators. Heavy-ion therapy developed in Japan has produced significant results in the treatment of cancer. We are also working to reduce the size of the heavy-ion devices. In the future, we hope that promoting clinical research, leading to the therapy becoming available to more regions, will contribute to improving people's health and quality of life.
In addition, Japan is conducting clinical trials to commercialize inexpensive sensitizers to enhance the effects of radiation therapy. We hope that it will contribute to cancer treatment in countries including developing countries.
As for the ITER project, the assembly of the world's first Toroidal field coil, one of the ITER’s main components, was completed in January 2020. Japan is in charge of procuring this component.
On 2nd March, the Japanese Government and the EU signed a joint declaration to deepen research and development on nuclear fusion in the ‘Broader Approach Activities’.
Within the scope of the Broader Approach Activities, I am happy to report that the assembly of the JT-60SA, the largest superconducting tokamak device in the world, in the QST Naka site, is to be completed by the end of this month.
Given this positive development, the JT-60SA will contribute significantly to the ITER project. We intend to accelerate research and development on nuclear fusion with the aim of putting nuclear fusion energy into practical use by the mid-21st century.
Last but not least, Japan truly welcomes the launch of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Program, announced by Director-General Grossi yesterday. The program will encourage more young women to be actively engaged in the field of nuclear science and technology. This initiative will help our common efforts to realize the full potential of nuclear technology. Japan will cooperate with this program.
Along with these comments, Japan will take note of the Secretary-General's report on Nuclear Technology Review (GOV/ 2020/4).
Thank you, Madam Chair.