Vol.9 No.3 2017

Research paper : Radioactive cesium decontamination technology for ash (T. Kawamoto et al.)−149−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.9 No.3 (2017) decontamination work, and TEPCO Environmental Engineering provided technical support to the union. They gained the condence of the local government through this activity. Therefore, the local governments also agreed to pilot plant tests.Although it was a special case because of this unexpected accident, there are many cases in which the laws would not be adjusted, even in regular R&D. It is necessary to set the direction while understanding the laws appropriately, checking the discussions of the committees and other authorities before the enforcement of laws, and setting the R&D strategy based on them.We shall discuss the stage of corporate collaboration. R&D is often handled as “step by step,” starting from “upstream” activities such as raw materials development, and assumed to go “downstream,” with development of adsorbents or decontamination methods. However, two problems can hinder such an approach. One is that R&D is time-consuming. Another is that the supply chain is not clear at the start of research: for that reason, one cannot establish a business model. To resolve those difculties, the R&D of each stage should be conducted “concurrently”. This is generally called “concurrent engineering.” For the approach, it is necessary to clarify the whole picture of the R&D from the research level to elucidate the picture for all people involved, and to elicit frequent feedback.3.5 Current status of commercializationThe achievement of the development of ash washing technology is presented in Fig. 2. For example, Kanto Chemical and Japan Vilene conducted the development of the adsorbents. Some of them have become commercially available. Kanto Chemical sells PB nanoparticle materials to other companies. It has developed and sells granular adsorbents.These technologies are used for various purposes other than ash decontamination. For example, the nonwoven adsorbent of Japan Vilene is also used in the pilot plant tests for preventing radioactive cesium leakage from ponds, and is described in the MAFF manual.[54] Similar nonwoven material is used as a measurement technology for radioactive cesium in environmental waters.[8][55]4 ConclusionWe developed the technology to remove radioactive cesium from the environment after the leakage of radioactive materials from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company using the PB nanoparticles. As presented in this paper, we described our ash decontamination technology to reduce the volume of combustible contaminants. Because this issue is related to an urgent matter for Japanese national security, rapid R&D efforts were pursued in preference to those used for regular R&D. Therefore, it was important to clarify the final goal and to build collaboration to reach the goal as quickly as possible. Especially important was the concurrent promotion of both the expansion of collaboration and the management of intellectual property. To achieve such a requirement, we chose the following policy: we retained the intellectual property for the core technology to ourselves to the greatest extent possible, and left R&D for peripheral technology to the companies. We also decided that the know-how disclosed by the companies to AIST would be disclosed to other collaborating companies as necessary, and we decided that licensing to other collaborating companies would be possible even if the technology was patented by a single company.Through these policies, it was possible to conduct R&D swiftly. This method is expected to be an effective mode of conducting other R&D. However, it is necessary that the research institute possesses the core technology and holds superiority in knowledge and intellectual property. It is also necessary to estimate the supply chain and cost structure in anticipation of commercialization. These are generally not regarded as important for research institutes. However, if a research institute aims to become the nucleus of open innovation in Japan, then these capabilities become necessary. We hope this will be a model of R&D with one research institute at the core. We sincerely wish to contribute to decontamination efforts that are underway in Japan.AcknowledgementsWe acknowledge the government organizations, local governments, and private companies which helped us in the R&D. We particularly thank Kawauchi village for giving a chance to us to use their site for our pilot plant tests. We also thank the people of the companies with which we collaborated through joint research: Tokyo Power Technology Ltd., Kanto Chemical Co. Inc., Japan Vilene Co., Ltd., and Koriyama Chip Industry Co., Ltd. In starting and operating the Fly Ash Washing Technology Workshop, we received valuable help from Director Masahiro Osako, Center for Material Cycles and Waste Management Research, the researchers in National Institute of Environmental Studies and also in participating organizations.At AIST, we were able to conduct this research with the support of the following people: former Senior Vice-President Shingo Ichimura and Vice-President Masahiro Seto, who acted as the leaders of the Cesium Decontamination Project; Chief Senior Researcher Hiroshi Ogawa, Research Center for Computational Design of Advanced Functional Materials, who contributed generously to the development of simulation technology; former Supervisory Innovation Coordinator Akira Kageyama, Technology Licensing Manager Yuki

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