Russia and Japan expand nuclear cooperation

19 December 2016

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has signed a memorandum of cooperation in peaceful uses of atomic energy with two Japanese ministries. One key area of cooperation under the agreement will be post-accident recovery at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Russia-Japan - December 2016 - 460 (Kantei)
Putin and Abe applaud the signing of the memorandum of cooperation (Image: Kantei)

The memorandum was signed in Tokyo on 16 December during a meeting between Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe and Russian president Vladimir Putin. It was signed by Japan's minister of economy, trade and industry, Hiroshige Seko; the minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, Hirokazu Matsuno; and Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachov.

In a statement, Rosatom said one of the key cooperation areas specified in the memorandum is the post-accident recovery at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including radioactive waste management and possible decommissioning.

In addition, the parties will consider establishing a joint Russian-Japanese platform "to study the possibilities of fostering human resources exchange and exchange of ideas aimed at promoting innovative nuclear technologies based on the knowledge and experience of the two countries".

"The memorandum serves as a tool to support and promote new mutually beneficial cooperation areas of business and scientific interest," Rosatom said. The company said it has "all competences and experience" to help Japan in recovery efforts at Fukushima Daiichi and that it is "willing to become a partner of Japan in other possible joint mutually beneficial projects in the nuclear power area".

The signing of the memorandum follows the signing of a cooperation agreement between the two countries in May 2009. This agreement was ratified by the Russian parliament in late 2010 and by the Japanese parliament in December 2011. Under the agreement, the two countries may cooperate in areas including uranium exploration and mining; the design, construction and operation of light water reactors; radioactive waste processing and management; nuclear safety, including radiation protection and environmental control; research and application of radioisotopes and radiation; and other areas based on additional written agreements between the two countries.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News