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International Critical Review Committee on the Long Term Nuclear Program (ICRC)

The ICRC Report presents international critical reviews of the "Interim Report Concerning the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Policy (refered to below as the "Interim Report")" agreed by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission's New Nuclear Policy Planning Council in November 2004.

In the report, 4 overseas panel members of ICRC carried out an assessment review of the "Interim Report". The Japanese panel members then made suggestions on the overseas comission members' reviews.

We hope the report will be widely used by the public. Furthermore, we hope it will generate a momentum to re-examine the government's policy on nuclear fuel cycle, especially The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant Project.

(ICRC Chairperson: Hitoshi Yoshioka, Professor, Kyushu University / Secretariat: Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies)

The ICRC Report (2005)

See Table of Contents
Download ICRC Report   [446KB]( A-4 size, Japanese version 71 pages + English version 71 pages)

Background behind the estalishment of the ICRC

During the 12th meeting of the New Policy-Planning Council (held on 12 November 2004) when the Interim Report was adopted, Council member Professor Hitoshi Yoshioka of Kyushu University proposed conducting an international review of the report. The Atomic Energy Commission didn't reject the proposal outright, but it took no action in response to his proposal.

However, the Takagi Fund for Citizen Science had for some time secured a budget allocation for a project to carry out a comparative evaluation of spent fuel management options. At this point, the Takagi Fund and Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies(ISEP) consulted together and, as a part of the Takagi Fund Research project, it was decided to ask Professor Yoshioka to work as the Chairman of an international review project. Professor Yoshioka agreed to accept this role.


ICRC consists of 4 overseas and 5 Japanese members. When selecting the committee members, a common criterion was that they be critical of the reprocessing option, but care was taken to include both people who are opposed to and people who are not-opposed to nuclear energy. With regards to the overseas committee members, it was decided to appoint one person from each of the following leading atomic energy using countries: USA, U.K, France, and Germany.


Frank von Hippel (USA), Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Fred Barker(U.K), Nuclear Policy consultant.
Christian Kuppers(Germany), Deputy coordinator of Nuclear Engineering & Plant Safety Division of the Oeko-Institute.
Mycle Schneider(France), International energy and nuclear policy consultant.


Hitoshi Yoshioka, Professor, Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University. (Chairperson, ICRC)
Tetsunari Iida, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies.
Yuichi Kaido, Attorney at Law.
Takeo Kikkawa, Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo.
Yo Fujimura, Assistant Professor Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University.


Overseas panel members were invited to Japan for the launching of the ICRC and on 29 March 2005 a kickoff meeting was held. (except Dr.Frank von Hippel) . First the Japanese panel members proposed the basic review subject matter and issues and between April and August 2005 the overseas panel members each carried out an assessment review based on this framework. The Japanese panel members then made suggestions on the overseas comission members' reviews. At the same time, the Japanese members drafted an overall report (ICRC report) based on the contents of the four review reports and, after receiving the consent of the overseas members, inserted it at the beginning of the full report.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Overview      Hitoshi Yoshioka p.1-16
1. Why do an International Assessment of the Interim Report?
1-1. Events Leading Up to the Formulation of the Draft Nuclear Energy Policy Outline
1-2. Interim Report Concerning the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Policy
1-3. Purpose of the Review
2. Organization and Activities of the ICRC
2-1. Background behind the establishment of the ICRC
2-2. ICRC Members
3. Characteristics of and Problems with the Interim Report
3-1. Conducting a "Comprehensive Evaluation" of the "Basic Scenarios"
3-2. The Conclusion to Adhere to the Current Policy
3-3. Problems with the Methodology of the Overall Assessment
3-4. Problems with each of the Individual Assessment Items
3-5. A Summarization of the Problems
4. Results of the Reviews by Overseas Panelists
4-1. Overall characteristics
4-2. Particular features of each individual report
4-2-1. Fred Barker (UK)
4-2-2. Mycle Schneider (France)
4-2-3. Christian Kuppers (Germany)
4-2-4. Frank von Hippel (USA)
5. Assessment of the Cost of a Change of Policy
5-1. Why treat the cost of a change of policy as a separate issue?
5-2. The Interim Report's evaluation methodology in regard to the cost of a change of policy
5-3. Errors in the long-term nuclear power plant shut down scenario
5-4. The real problem associated with a change of policy
5-5. The uncounted costs of not changing policy
6. Conclusion

Chapter 2 ICRC Review      Fred Barker p.17-26
1. Introduction
2. Deficiencies in the Planning Council's Assessment Method
3. Key Issues in Judgements of Scenario Performance
4. Methods for Improved Assessment
5. Stakeholder Participation in Assessment
6. Conclusion

Chapter 3 ICRC Review       Mycle Schneider p.27-42
1. Introduction
2. JAEC Methodology
3. Definition of the Scenarios
4. Evaluation of the Scenarios
5. Conclusion

Chapter 4 ICRC Review      Christian Kuppers p.43-50
1. Introduction
2. Radiological Impact of Reprocessing, Interim Storage and Final Disposal of Spent Fuel
3. Safety of Reprocessing, Interim Storage and Final Disposal of Spent Fuel
4. Proliferation Risks Related to Separated Plutonium and Spent Fuel
5. Overseas trends
6. Conclusion

Chapter 5 ICRC Review      Frank von Hippel p.51-57
1. Introduction
2. Domestic considerations: economics, safety and other considerations
3. International considerations: the added danger of plutonium diversion by would-be nuclear terrorists and damage to the effort to contain the proliferation of national nuclear fuel-cycle facilities
4. Conclusion

Appendix 1:New Nuclear Policy-Planning Council 13th Meeting Reference Paper 1.Interim Report Concerning the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Policy, 12 November 2004
Appendix p.1-14
Appendix 2: Letter to the JAEC Chairman
Appendix 3: Reply from the JAEC Chairman
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