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31 July, 2020

NRA Permits JNFL to Alter Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, Its Having Complied with New Regulatory Standards

On July 29, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan finalized a review report for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL), saying that the facility was compatible with the government’s new regulatory standards. It then granted JNFL permission to make changes to the installation under the Law for the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors (the Reactor Regulation Law). It has been six and a half years since the application had first been filed for the examination in January 2014.

The draft review report was issued more than two months ago, on May 13, and was then made open to the public for comments for thirty days. Since it was the first time for the NRA to hand down a decision affecting the operation of a reprocessing plant, the Authority asked the head of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to comment on the decision’s consistency with the 5th Strategic Energy Plan. The minister responded that completion of the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant was “consistent with the plan,” based on the basic policy to promote the nuclear fuel cycle. At a regular meeting on July 29, the NRA Secretariat summarized the public comments received, of which there had been 574. Following those explanations, NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa and the four other commissioners ...more
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