The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (NISA) has renewed its regulatory role and its need for regulatory research on radioactive waste management, with recent circumstances of radioactive waste management in Japan being taken into consideration. In response, a technical supporting organization, the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), in 2009 released the five-year research plan “Regulatory Research Plan on Radioactive Waste Management 2010–2014”, in cooperation with the research institutes of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The geological disposal research plan and the future research activities are outlined in this paper. JNES launched safety studies on geological disposal in 2003, the year it was established. JAEA and AIST joined as regulatory support research institutes in 2005. In October 2007, all three parties signed an agreement of cooperative study on geological disposal, which facilitated joint studies and exchanges of staff, data, and results. One of the ongoing joint studies has focused on regional-scale hydrogeological modeling using JAEA’s Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory.

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