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

Safety checks on 14,000 items in Monju

September 30, 2013



12,000 plus 2,000 new items checked in Monju



The operator of a trouble-hit prototype reactor has completed safety checks on about 14,000 pieces of equipment that should have been inspected earlier.
The checks included about 2,000 items the operator recently discovered hadn't been inspected.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency presented its report on the Monju fast-breeder reactor to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday.

Monju, located on the Sea of Japan coast, had been cited for more than 12,000 safety lapses, including some involving equipment that is crucial to safe operation of the reactor. In May, the nuclear regulator ordered the operator to halt preparations for resuming test-runs until it has dealt with the safety issues. The operator subsequently found additional equipment that had not been checked.
The Monju reactor in Fukui Prefecture uses plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel to generate power. The reactor has been mostly offline since a coolant leak accident in 1995 and the fall of a fuel exchange device into the reactor in 2010.

Last week, the science ministry drew up a plan to run Monju for 6 years before it will [decide] whether to continue research there.

But a restart of Monju is not likely anytime soon.
This is due to the regulator's order that test-runs cannot be resumed until new maintenance and management systems are in place. Experts are also investigating whether active fault lines run beneath the reactor.


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