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Monitoring devices at Rokkasho plant not working

August 2, 2015

Monitors fail at nuclear fuel reprocessing plant

Aug. 3, 2015 - Updated 04:57 UTC+2



A nuclear fuel reprocessing firm in northern Japan says some of its monitoring devices of high level radioactive materials have stopped working. It says the failure poses no threat to the environment.

Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited reported the troubles at a plant compound in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture, on Sunday evening.

It said 4 monitoring devices failed at about the same time at the plant's facility. The facility extracts uranium and plutonium from melted spent nuclear fuel while separating highly radioactive wastes.

The failed devices include a leak monitor for highly radioactive liquid-waste as well as a pressure monitor for an exhaust gas processing system.

The Aomori Prefectural government and the firm say workers are currently unable to monitor any potential leak inside the facility. But the firm also stresses that other devices in the plant indicate no radioactive leaks outside the facility.

The company says when the failure occurred lightning strikes were observed near the plant. It says it is studying whether there is a connection.

The plant has not been running at full capacity, as it has been undergoing government screening ahead of the planned formal launch in March.


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