Preface

Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute (KURRI) is pleased to announce that our main facilities, Kyoto University Reactor (KUR) and Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA), restarted after the long shutdown that began in 2014.
We will continue to strive for safe and stable operations for national wide use and make it our primary mission to provide the opportunity for scientists both within and outside KURRI to conduct basic research.

KURRI was established as an Inter-University Research Institute in 1963. We have contributed to research and education in the field of nuclear science and radiation application. For national use, KURRI makes available facilities such as KUR, KUCA, the Hot Laboratory, the high energy proton accelerator called FFAG, the accelerator-based neutron irradiation system for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), the Electron Linear Accelerator and Co-60 Gamma-ray Irradiation Facility.

KUR started its operations in 1964. It is a light-water moderated, tank-type nuclear research reactor with 5MW thermal power; its power level is about 600 times smaller than that of a typical commercial power plant that produces electricity. Research subjects cover a wide range of fields including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, agriculture, environment and medical research. In 1974, KUCA opened its doors for basic studies regarding reactor physics.
We wish to thank our visiting scientists who waited for operations to resume. Their patience for years proves that KUR provides users distinctive advantages in their studies. As one of the capabilities of this facility, our medical team is carrying out a study of a cancer radiation therapy treatment (i.e. BNCT).

Especially, KURRI endeavours to contribute to nuclear-educated human resources for mid and long-term. KUCA has carried an educational course including practical training on reactor physics for many universities in Japan since 1975. This program is exceptional for various reasons. One is the interactive character of exercise, i.e. the students can actively take part in all steps of the reactor operation, i.e. fuel composition, loading, running of the reactor and so on.
This is partly possible because of the very versatile construction of the reactor and the reactor fuel. The other is that the exercises are devised and executed as an integral part of the education program of the Kyoto University, and therefore have a high academic standard including the mentoring functions.
Since 2003, we have admitted students from other countries, such as Sweden and Korea. The total number of participants in this programme exceeds 4,000.

Japan’s nationwide nuclear shutdown was imposed in 2011 following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident. Subsequently, new safety standards were launched by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). A new standard was established for the Commercial Power Reactor.
KURRI had to initiate discussions with the NRA to adapt this new standard to something suitable for the Research Reactor. It took three years to obtain an approval. I would like to thank our staffs for coping with the tough workload. They were patient during the process of producing appropriate and successive amendments to comply with the NRA’s request.
In accordance with new safety standards for the Research Reactor, KURRI repaired some parts of KUR and KUCA to enhance their equipment for cases beyond Design Basis Accident (DBA). We also considered extreme events, such as earthquakes, forest fires, and tornadoes.

The long shut down had a significant impact on various areas, including research, education and medical treatment.
We regret that we did not play a prominent role to provide proper service to all users of KUR and KUCA for three years. Moreover, we are concerned that cancer patients who desired medical treatment utilizing the BNCT-system lost the opportunity.

KURRI is involved in national science strategy. Science Council of Japan (SCJ), the representative organisation for the Japanese scientist community, adopted our proposal in their master plan in 2017. KURRI’s proposal included a new field of research in nuclear science; we named this new field ‘Inter-disciplinary Nuclear Science and Technology.’
As is known, nuclear science covers various subjects. ‘Inter-disciplinary’ refers to drawing resources from nuclear science and creating new research fields.
We could coordinate new research with our remarkable facilities, our scientists both within and outside KURRI and a unique academic network that was built in KURRI.
Researchers and students from various backgrounds join KURRI for its remarkable facilities and the opportunity to get to know each other’s perspectives and gain inspiration from each other. Here are some examples.
BNCT requires specialists in various areas including medical, pharmacy, nuclear reactors and accelerators. We can form a new multidisciplinary research team at KURRI, because we have the necessary resources and networks; composed of researchers with varied but complementary experiences, qualifications, and skills.
KURRI aims to widen the scope of nuclear science. We promote a study on the Accelerator Driven System (ADS) by combining facilities. KURRI is the only institution in the world to construct a combination of a high- energy proton accelerator and a nuclear reactor to ensure the study proceeds.
The ADS study was originally proposed by Carlo Rubbia, an Italian Nobel laureate in Physics. This study seeks a solution to the problem of radioactive waste disposal for the next generation; it is supported by IAEA.

KURRI is responsible for Safety, security and safeguards as well as explaining our situation to local governments. We are willing to provide a technical tour or talk for science education. We would be happy to promote greater understanding regarding our activities in various areas.

Yuji Kawabata
Director