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Atomic Energy Agency unfit to operate Monju

October 28, 2015

Nuclear authority says Monju currently inoperable

Oct. 28, 2015 - Updated 08:25 UTC+1





Japan's nuclear regulatory body says the country's prototype fast-breeder reactor is currently inoperable due to safety concerns.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority ordered the Japan Atomic Energy Agency 2 years ago not to resume test-runs of its Monju reactor. This followed revelations of a large number of safety oversight issues with the fast-breeder reactor, which is in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.

The problems with oversight continued even while the reactor was offline. Regulators last week asked senior officials of the education and science ministry to explain how they were supervising Monju's operator.

At a meeting of the regulatory authority on Wednesday, Satoru Tanaka said the Atomic Energy Agency seems to be unfit to operate the Monju. He said the science ministry should appoint a new operator.

The authority's Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said it appears to be impossible to put the Monju into operation, given the safety problems.

Regulators will question the operator's president Toshio Kodama on Monday.


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