Japan is to close its Monju fast breeder reactor in a further step towards the global abandonment of a technology that once promised unlimited nuclear power with minimal waste. Used fuel will be removed from the troubled reactor in Fukui prefecture over the next five years and the experiment will be fully decommissioned by 2047, said the government’s ministerial committee on nuclear power. Fast breeder reactors have the potential to greatly reduce volumes of nuclear waste but the technology has been plagued by concerns about cost and safety. Japan’s decision to follow the US and UK in abandoning its experimental reactor suggests the breeder technology is unlikely ever to reach widespread deployment.
FT 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Japan has decided to pull the plug on its so-called “dream reactor” that was designed to burn a plutonium-uranium mixture, while producing more plutonium in the process, which, it was hoped, could be converted into more nuclear fuel. But the Monju nuclear plant cost 20 billion yen ($170 million, 163 million euros) per year, and over its 22-year lifetime, it operated just 250 days. And its operating costs were about to go up. The reactor would have required costly upgrades to meet new safety standards that were implemented after the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima reactor in 2011.
Deutsche Welle 21st Dec 2016 read more »
Japan is a scrapping an experimental reactor which has worked for just 250 days of its 22-year lifespan and cost $9bn (£7.2bn).
BBC 21st Dec 2016 read more »