On September 24th, the Tohoku ILC Planning Office (Director: Atsuto Suzuki, president of Iwate Prefectural University) held a seminar for local residents on the ILC, in the Ichinoseki Health Center in Yamanome, Ichinoseki City. There, experts answered the questions participants had about the technological measures in place to deal with any radioactivity emitted from ILC experiments.
Around 140 people were in attendance. Shinya Narita, a professor in Iwate University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, serves as the head of PR for the Tohoku ILC Planning Office, so he answered questions about the technology behind the ILC. The ILC will use beams made of electrons and positrons, which are then absorbed by a beam dump after the experiments are through. Prof. Narita explained how they would deal with any radioactive tritium (hydrogen-3) that may be emitted: “We already know how to deal with this from accelerators of the past. The ILC will be strictly built and operated in a way that will completely prevent any radioactivity being emitted to the outside.”
Jun Sasaki, a director general at the Iwate Prefectural Government, serves as the head of Regional Affairs at the Tohoku ILC Planning Office. He talked about how society was moving towards supporting the ILC. Although some worry that the ILC tunnel may eventually be used to as a storage area for highly-radioactive materials, he explained that, “The law says that those storage areas must be 300 or more meters underground. The ILC will be built at an elevation of 100 meters, so they cannot make such a storage area there.”
A participant asked if there were any fault lines underneath the Kitakami mountains, the candidate site for the ILC. Prof. Narita responded, “Our investigation thus far shows no fault lines running through the site.”
The Tohoku ILC Planning Office is the working arm of the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council (joint-representatives: Hideo Ono, president of Tohoku University, and Hiroaki Takahashi, honorary chairman of the Tohoku Economic Federation).