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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Monju: False sodium leak alarm

December 25, 2015

Sodium leak false alarm at Monju reactor



Dec. 25, 2015 - Updated 21:38 UTC+1

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency says a sodium leak alarm went off at its Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Fukui prefecture. But it says no leak has occurred at the reactor that is not in operation.

The plant operator said the alarm sounded 4 times on Friday night from a device that detects leaks of sodium, which is used as a coolant.

Agency officials said another detector in the same room indicated there was no leakage. They now suspect a glitch in the device and are investigating the cause of the false alarm.

Monju is designed to use recycled plutonium. In December 1995, sodium leaked from the reactor's piping, causing a fire at the facility.
In the past few years, the Monju operator has been repeatedly criticized for its lax safety management.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulation Authority asked the science minister to replace the plant's operator within about 6 months.


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