The government is making final arrangements to scrap the trouble-prone Monju fast-breeder reactor after determining it will never obtain public support for a restart, government sources said Tuesday. The Nuclear Regulation Authority urged the education and science ministry, which oversees the reactor, in November to replace the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency with a new entity to improve safety and management of the project. In response, the ministry informed the Cabinet Secretariat earlier this month of a plan to keep operating the reactor in Fukui Prefecture by spinning off part of the project from the current operator. However, officials gave up on that plan and opted for its decommissioning after utilities and plant manufacturers showed reluctance to establish a new entity, according to the sources. Many officials also expressed the belief that resuming ordinary reactors should be given priority. According to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s 2012 estimate, the cost of scrapping Monju would be around ¥300 billion over 30 years, with the expense higher than for other reactors due to its complex operating system that uses sodium as a coolant.
Japan Times 13th Sept 2016 read more »