Since its founding in 1957, the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) has been the only research and development institution in Japan dedicated to comprehensive research and development of radiation and health with various scientific disciplines. The main characteristics of laboratory animal experiments at NIRS are as follows: (1) the study of long-term biological effects on labol'8tory animals after exposure of various line types to nuclides of radioactive substances, (2) the use of animals maintained under strict quality control from a microbiological viewpoint, and (3) the use of wide range of imaging devices to capture images when
radioactive substances are used. We deal with various types of animals, from fish to primates, and the breeding and feeding periods of
these animals range from few days to approximately 2 years. Furthermore, special attention is given to carcasses and organs of laboratory animals that are treated as RI as well as nuclear fuel wastes, whereas such a restriction does not apply in regular experiments. There are 11 animal experimentation facilities at NIRS. The radiation control and animal management areas are located next to each other on the same site, and radiation workers at these areas are under supervision, strict management, and control. Safety education and training program are also provided to workers as a prerequisite. Not only from a Japanese but also from a global standard viewpoint, a high level of safety management is required for these facilities. During an external assessment in 2009, we received high evaluation marks from the Japanese Association of Laboratory Animal Facilities of National University Corporations and the Japanese Association of Laboratory Animal Facilities of Public and Private Universities for performing animal experiments with consideration of the ethical aspects and well-being of laboratory animals, as well as for the management of facilities.
施設めぐり (Introduction of the Animal Research Facilities in Japan)