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[en] Summary: • Overview of HRDC and IRRS was introduced. • The new qualification and training system was explained focusing on Basic level. • NRA has been developing the system and will continue to make efforts for its further improvement.
[en] Highlights: • The CT scan rate in Japan was the third heist in the world. • We clarified that aging was related to CT usage rate. • Male individuals used more CT than female individuals. • The CT usage rate varied up to 1.7-fold among regions. - Abstract: ObjectivesTo describe CT usage in Japan by age, gender, and region and to clarify the relationship between aging and CT examination rate.
[en] Throughout the entire world, prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) is the standard care for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in whom a favorable therapeutic effect is achieved after front-line treatment, regardless of whether the disease is in the limited stage or extensive stage. In the EORTC study, PCI was shown to confer a survival benefit for patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) who experienced any positive response after initial chemotherapy. However, the Japan study failed to confirm a survival benefit. As a result, the guidelines in Japan recommend that PCI should not be carried out in cases of ES-SCLC. Complete response (CR) subset analysis in the Japan study suggested that PCI did not provide a survival benefit for patients with ES-SCLC. PCI with a risk of adverse events has poor significance, even if the patients show CR to chemotherapy.
[en] The Fukushima accident disturbed greatly Japan's energy policy. The shutdown of all the reactors led to a drastic drop in the energy independence rate of the country (from 20.2% to 6.4%) and to a progressive increase of CO2 emissions as the recourse to fossil energies was unavoidable. Japan authorities in order to face this challenge have implemented a progressive and safe come back of nuclear power. Today 20 reactors have been decommissioned, 6 have been allowed to restart and 12 are facing expertise for a potential restart. Japanese authorities expect an electricity mix composed of fossil energies (56%), renewable energies (22-24%) and nuclear power (20-22%) by 2030 which will rise the energy independence rate up to 24% and reduce CO2 emissions by 25% in comparison with 2005. (A.C.)
[en] The coherences between daily time series of four low-frequency seismic noise properties which were calculated for 78 broadband seismic stations of the network F-net in Japan and 81 broadband seismic stations in California for 13 years of observation, 2003–2015, is investigated. The studied time interval includes Tohoku mega-earthquake, M9, on March 11, 2011. The chosen noise properties are the following: minimum normalized entropy of squared wavelet coefficients, multifractal singularity spectrum support width, generalized Hurst exponent and index of linear predictability. These properties were estimated daily as median values taken over all stations of the networks. For each pair of these noise properties from Japan and California squared coherence spectrums were estimated within moving time window of the length 730 days. The maximum values of squared coherence spectra for periods more than 20 days were essentially increasing as the time window approaches the time moment of Tohoku mega-earthquake and achieved their maximum values for position of moving time window strictly before the seismic catastrophe. This fact is interpreted as a consequence of general global seismic noise synchronization before huge seismic catastrophe.
[en] The ultra-low-frequency (ULF) electromagnetic emission is recently recognized as one of the most promising candidates for short-term earthquake (EQ) prediction. This paper reviews previous convincing evidence on the presence of ULF emissions before three major EQs. Then, we present further statistical study on the ULF occurrence, our networks of ULF monitoring in different spatial scales in Japan and finally we present several signal processings to identify the seismogenic emissions by showing latest results for recent large EQs.
[en] Proposals of Topics for SFR Workshop: • In the 1st WS, the necessity of information exchange by experts on technical issues such as sodium reaction and passive safety was pointed out. It is expected to hold such expert meeting. • For future SFR Workshops which policy makers and experts participate in, the following issues may be suited: – Crosscutting issues on SFR safety; – Instructive Issues for the demonstration of SFR
[en] The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) established Human Resources Development Center (HRDC) in 2014 and the HRDC has been tackling with the human resource development for NRA staff as its important mission. In 2016, NRA received the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission conducted by IAEA to review the Japan’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. In the IRRS mission Report, necessity of improving a training system for inspectors was identified as one of suggestions. As a response to this suggestion, NRA first established a new qualification system in 2017. Now a new training system combined with the qualification system is under development for its starting in 2018. HRDC’s activities focusing on the new training system are described in the paper. (author)
[en] Earthquakes are among the most dangerous events that occur on earth and many scientists have been investigating the underlying processes that take place before earthquakes occur. These investigations are fueling efforts towards developing both single and multiple parameter earthquake forecasting methods based on earthquake precursors. One potential earthquake precursor parameter that has received significant attention within the last few years is the ionospheric total electron content (TEC). Despite its growing popularity as an earthquake precursor, TEC has been under great scrutiny because of the underlying biases associated with the process of acquiring and processing TEC data. Future work in the field will need to demonstrate our ability to acquire TEC data with the least amount of biases possible thereby preserving the integrity of the data. This paper describes a process for removing biases using raw TEC data from the standard Rinex files obtained from any global positioning satellites system. The process is based on developing an unbiased TEC (UTEC) data and model that can be more adaptable to serving as a precursor signal for earthquake forecasting. The model was used during the days and hours leading to the earthquake off the coast of Tohoku, Japan on March 11, 2011 with interesting results. The model takes advantage of the large amount of data available from the GPS Earth Observation Network of Japan to display near real-time UTEC data as the earthquake approaches and for a period of time after the earthquake occurred.