Clearance is one of the useful concepts to manage large amounts of slightly contaminated solid radioactive materials generated from the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Cleared materials are expected to be disposed of as conventional wastes or recycled to produce consumer goods. In Japan, the legal framework for clearance was established in 2005 by amending the Law to regulate nuclear materials, reactors and so on. However, it is not so clear whether the general public understands clearance well. In this paper, major concerns about clearance from the general public are analyzed based on the public comments for reports on clearance prepared by the Nuclear Safety Commission and the Nuclear Institute Safety Agency. The major anxieties for clearance expressed by the general public are the safety of clearance, unknown factors of radiation effects, possibilities of excess radiation exposure due to inadequate measurements of radioactivities and fairness in decision making. In order to deal with those anxieties, some countermeasures including the confidence in nuclear operators and regulatory authorities and controllability of clearance by the general public are discussed to promote the social acceptance of clearance by the general public.
2007 Atomic Energy Society of Japan