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» NRA calls for replacing operator of Monju

The nuclear regulation authority (NRA) on Friday officially advised the science and technology minister to replace the operator of troubled Monju fast breeder reactor.

The NRA said it lacks confidence that Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) can continue running the costly and accident-prone facility.

If the ministry cannot designate a new operator by the May 2016 deadline for responding to the NRA recommendations, it will be forced to consider more radical options, including decommissioning the Monju reactor.

The Monju reactor was built to run on MOX fuel — a mix of plutonium and uranium processed from spent conventional nuclear fuel — and produce yet more plutonium that could be made into yet more fuel. However, it has spent the majority of its life shut down due to a string of accidents including a fire.

As of 2015, the plant has cost taxpayers more than 1 trillion yen ( ($9.8 billion).

<Media Reports>

NRA seeks new operator for Monju reactor; decommissioning likely (The Asahi Shimbun)

EDITORIAL: Scrap Monju reactor project and use money to develop renewable energies (The Asahi Shimbun)

NRA starts clock ticking on Monju, advising operator be replaced (The Japan Times)

NRA’s Monju reactor recommendation could deal serious blow to nuclear fuel cycle (The Mainichi)


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