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

Scrapping Monju

December 21, 2016

Japan govt. decides to scrap Monju



Japan's government has officially decided to scrap its prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor Monju.

The decision was made at a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

They said restarting the troubled reactor in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, would require at least 8 years of preparation, and continued operation would cost more than 4.5 billion dollars.

They decided to dismantle the facility over some 30 years, citing growing costs.

The government is to oversee the decommissioning work.

It plans to create a system to enable Monju's builder, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, to carry out the work while ensuring safety.

The government says it hopes to eventually make the area around the site one of the key research bases for developing fast reactors.

The ministers also confirmed that they will promote research and development at facilities in Japan and overseas, including a demonstration reactor to be designed with France and the experimental fast reactor Joyo in Japan.



Japan govt. to formally decide on Monju scrapping



Japan's government will make a formal decision to scrap its prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor Monju, at a meeting of relevant cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

Science Minister Hirokazu Matsuno said the government hopes to have a detailed plan by next April for decommissioning the troubled reactor in Fukui Prefecture. He said they will do their utmost to gain local support for the plan.

Matsuno and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko presented the plan to Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa on Wednesday, prior to the government's final decision.

Nishikawa had urged the government to review its decommissioning plan. He said discussions on the country's fuel recycling system and the body that will manage scrapping of the Monju were insufficient.

The government stressed at the meeting that the lessons learned from Monju would be applied to development of a fast reactor.

They said the current operator of the Monju will do the decommissioning under a new framework supervised by the government to ensure steady progress and safety.

They also said they will continue to consult with Fukui Prefectural officials on the process.

Governor Nishikawa refrained from endorsing the plan. He said the government was not convincing and that implementation will not go smoothly without local support.

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