Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, Kyoto University (hereinafter referred to as KURNS), including the former name Research Reactor Institute founded in 1963, renamed to KURNS in 2018), is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023.

We have two nuclear reactor facilities, Kyoto University Reactor, called KUR, and Kyoto University Critical Assembly called KUCA, various accelerator facilities, a large-scale hot laboratory, etc. No other place has such a variety of facilities, KURNS has recognized and expected from outside that is unique in the world. Until now, we contributed to domestic education and research as a Joint Usage / Research Center a joint use and joint research center certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

 On the other hand, the new regulatory standards after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident are makes our work difficult. With those difficulty, the deadline for returning spent fuel to the United States, we have officially decided to stop operate KUR in May 2026. However, the other nuclear reactor facility, KUCA, will continue use after change the fuel from HEU to LEU. We are planning some accelerator facilities will be used as alternative neutron sources for KUR.

In addition, the hot laboratory decides to utilize it continuously after having given deterioration measures as the facilities which can actually handle a radioisotope and a nuclear fuel material on the spot. The plan is established parallel to a plan in the future of the study side in the future of such facilities side, too. At the end of 2021, the roadmap at the point in time is devised and, “the advanced nuclear reactor research, & decommissioning research”, “research on the use of various radioisotopes”, and “research on the use of various quantum beams” will make efforts in the future.

 The next few years will be a very important period for us. We have many decisions to make. We need to decide what we want to do after KUR stop. The road is difficult, but we also have good news. The new research reactor which has output of about 2 times of KUR is scheduled to be built at the Monju site in Fukui Prefecture. We currently involved in the detailed design of this research reactor in collaboration with JAEA and the University of Fukui. A new research building was constructed at the Kumatori site in April 2023.

KURNS has reached its 60th birthday in human terms. We aim to be a bright, fun, youthful, and attractive place where people gather, and we will continue to provide education on integrated nuclear science as a Joint Usage / Research Center and continue education and research work.

We appreciate your understanding and support.

Institute for Integrated Radiation and Nuclear Science, Kyoto University

Director, Professor

Ken Kurosaki