ATOX provides human and technological assets supporting the nuclear power industry and is pioneering medical applications based on its decades-long experience.
“We’re leveraging all available engineering resources to regain the public trust in nuclear energy in Japan.”
Toshikazu Yaguchi, President, ATOX Co., Ltd.
Boasting over 60 years of experience, ATOX is a leading Japanese specialist in the maintenance, management and deactivation of nuclear power plants. Notably, the Tokyo-based company brings crucial know-how to the decommissioning and decontamination of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
“Our strongest traditional business is decontamination,” says ATOX President Toshikazu Yaguchi. “For obvious reasons, once a decommissioning project happens, decontamination is an essential part of that – and it’s one of our big strengths. That’s why we’re involved in many decommissioning projects across Japan.”
ATOX works with French nuclear company Orano in Fukushima, as part of a joint venture established in 2014. The company’s international collaborations also include a developing partnership with U.K. firm Createc, which provides unique radiation analysis technology. In addition, ATOX is the sole distributor in Japan for telemanipulators manufactured by Central Research Laboratories in the United States, and for power manipulators produced by PaR Systems, also a U.S. enterprise.
“We’re putting a lot of focus into partnerships with overseas companies,” Mr. Yaguchi says. “We want to utilize their technology and experience in Japan.” ATOX has itself also developed state-of-the-art equipment, such as an aerial vehicle and a robot – the latter dubbed “Raccoon” – that are designed for remote decontamination.
Meanwhile, the firm has branched out into nuclear medicine. In an industrial-academic collaboration with Japan’s National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology, ATOX has co-developed Vrain, the world’s first helmet-type device for positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans. By arranging detectors in a hemispherical shape so they are close to the patients, the machine offers a high-resolution image despite its low number of detectors.
ATOX is also working with RIKEN, a Japanese scientific research institute, on the development of targeted alpha therapy, and is the exclusive distributor in Japan for the 68Ge/68Ga generator, a device made by the Belgian company IRE ELiT to manufacture radioisotopes for nuclear medicine.
“Our priority is to increase the lineup of products in our nuclear power and medical business areas,” Mr. Yaguchi says. “We’re actively searching for equipment abroad that can be used in Japan.”