After the failure of DGR siting in 2007, the government of Japan had revised their policy on DGR programme and an active spearhead of the national government was designated.
Following this policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) had issued "Nationwide map of scientific features for geological disposal" which categorises entire country into three categories based on geological features, in order to inform the public of scientifically suitable area for DGR and also to lead the public to thinks about DGR in Japan.
In 2016, METI requested the NEA to organise an international peer-review on their programme as well as site screening criteria. The international review team concluded "METI's approach is consistent with the internationally accepted geological disposal strategy" and "the criteria defined for the site selection process are reasonably complete and capture the important areas of concern."
Since 2017, METI, in co-operation with Nuclear Waste Management Organisation of Japan (NUMO) which is an implementer of DGR, has been organising public meetings in each municipality in Japan in order to deepen understanding of the public on DGR.
Recently, the NEA Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) published the NEA report on Communication on the Safety Case for a Deep Geological Repository which addresses key factors to communicate with non-technical stakeholders using technical information, and held two workshops, i.e. the Joint IGSC/SITEX Seminar on Regulatory Review on Safety Case of DGR and the Joint IGSC/FSC Workshop.
International experiences discussed in the IGSC and its workshops are important for the success of currently progressing nationwide public meetings and METI intends to collect more detail information, discuss with international experts and learn from international practices.
In this regards, METI requested the NEA to co-organise the international workshop.
This workshop aimed to: