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The role of the Mutsu-Ogawara Industrial Park in Aomori Prefecture

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Mutsu-Ogawara Development Project (hereinafter referred to as MO) was started in 1972. Since then, two large national projects have been established.

One is concerned with National Petroleum Stock Projects (NPSP) and was the first built among them. The existence of the projects have suppressed oil price escalation and, as a result, oil crisis on a worldwide scale have never occurred since 1979. NPSP has contributed to stable development of the Japanese and the world economy.

Another is the Nuclear Fuel Recycling Project (NFRP), of which the purpose is to build up a self-supporting nuclear energy system. The NFRP serves as a firm foundation for Japanese industry from the viewpoint of energy supply and supports the development of the Japanese economy.

These two important projects were not ones which were imagined at the outset of the MO project but had appeared precipitately at the crossroads of the times after its establishment.

Availability of land is scarce in Japan. However we could cope with the changing times because MO had already procured 3200 ha of land in advance. Had we not possessed the lands, turmoil might have plagued in the Japanese economy. Consequently, the role of MO (now MOIP) is the national "provision against opaque times in future."

Those who managed MOIP responded to the calls for continuous finance for procurement of vast lands. Two projects are indispensable for the Japanese economy and, without the premise of MO, they are virtually impossible to be established in Japan.

As representatives of national projects following NPSP and NFRP, projects under serious consideration include International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor(ITER) and Neutron Science Research Center(NSRC).

ITER is a research project in which we are going to create an artificial system generating energy from the sun on the earth. The research is being conducted within an international framework joined by Russia, EU,Canada, and Japan.

This framework exists because energy resources we use will run out in near future. We need to come to invention of new energy systems from the viewpoint of mankind's subsistence.

As for NSRC, the target is to develop a new technology to reduce atomic toxicants in high level radioactive wastes. These toxicants are produced in the process of used nuclear fuel recycling treatment and their half-lives are very long --more than thousands or even ten thousand years. If we cannot succeed in this attempt, we, present human beings, will leave very dangerous materials to our descendants.

The site of the NSRC will be examined among officials concerned in the near future. The Mutsu-Ogawara Industrial Estate is a most reasonable site because high level radioactive wastes have been collected from all across Japan and stored within the premises of the MO.

Furthermore, as another project in the near future, we indicate an extension plan of above-mentioned NFRP, in which we include a new factory producing MOX type nuclear fuel and a large port for exclusive use of NFRP. In conclusion, the importance of Mutsu-Ogawara Development Project from the national interest viewpoint will increase all the more in future with the establishments of the above-motioned large projects.

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