News story

Royal visit marks long-standing dialogue with Japan

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has been hearing first-hand how the UK and Japan are collaborating on nuclear decommissioning when she attended a reception at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

Princess Anne talks to Adrian and Dounreay Site Stakeholder Vice-Chair Struan Mackie

Princess Anne talks to Adrian (centre) and Dounreay Site Stakeholder Vice-Chair Struan Mackie

Image credit: © British Embassy Tokyo

NDA Strategy and Technology Director Dr Adrian Simper was among the presenters discussing the knowledge exchange between the two countries, a dialogue that dates back many years.

Adrian spoke about the long-standing nuclear relationship between the UK and Japan, dating from the 1960s when the country’s built its first reactor, Tokai Mura 1, which was based on the Magnox design. He also outlined the NDA’s commitment to working in partnership with local communities, and the sharing of decommissioning knowledge as Japan continues the clean-up at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

The Princess Royal makes a presentation to the reception

The Princess Royal talks to nuclear specialists at the reception in Tokyo

Image credit: © British Embassy Tokyo

The latest UK-Japan collaboration will see a team of experts who have worked on Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) travel to Japan to help with drafting a lifetime plan for dismantling a similar sodium-cooled fast reactor, Monju, at the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture.

As part of this programme, Monju researcher Kazuaki Matsui will spend a six-month placement at the PFR.

UK businesses were also exhibiting at the event, hosted at the British Embassy in Tokyo by Dr Keith Franklin, Nuclear Counsellor with the Department for International Trade.

Adrian has been involved in the NDA’s dialogue with Japanese nuclear organisations for many years and has served as one of the international advisors for the group of experts advising on decommissioning the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, where UK technology companies are making a valuable contribution to the clean-up. Regular exchange visits between the UK and Japan have enabled the NDA, its subsidiary International Nuclear Services and the Department for International Trade to highlight the UK’s nuclear decommissioning expertise.

The Princess Royal has been visiting Japan for a number of engagements associated with the Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and other UK business events. Last year, she unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of the NDA’s £21 million archive facility, Nucleus (The Nuclear and Caithness Archives), in Wick.

Published 17 October 2019