for Japanese


30 November, 2016

Fukui Governor Exchanges Views on FBR Monju with METI and MEXT Ministers

On November 25, Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture, which hosts the prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) known as Monju, met with the respective ministers of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) at MEXT offices in Tokyo.

The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on the national government’s fundamental review of Monju, including its possible decommissioning, as well as on future fast reactor development policy.

At the meeting, MEXT Minister Hirokazu Matsuno began with an explanation of the circumstances surrounding Monju. In November 2015, he said, his ministry began looking for another body to replace the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), having received a recommendation from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan to do so, because of that agency’s insufficient maintenance and management capabilities.

He noted also that it would take eight years to restart the reactor, owing to the need to respond to new nuclear regulations, and that it would cost an estimated total of about JPY540 billion (USD4.82 billion at USD1=JPY112) until the end of its operation.

At the same time, the minister clearly stated that Japan “needs” the human resources and research foundation already accumulated in Fukui Prefecture, given the national government’s basic policy to continue promoting the nuclear fuel cycle.

Next, METI Minister Hiroshige Seko discussed the possibility of developing a demonstration reactor, based on the state of deliberations at the Conference on Fast Reactor Development, begun in October, which brings together the public and private sectors.

He said that the prospect of a demo reactor would depend on how well the technology and knowledge accumulated at Monju and the experimental reactor Joyo so far could be utilized in the future.

At the meeting with Governor Nishikawa, both ministers also emphasized their support for the Energy R&D Centralization Plan that Fukui Prefecture has been working on, aiming at building a central energy R&D facility with a focus on nuclear technology.

For his part, the governor noted that although the nuclear fuel cycle was “important” in Japan’s energy policy, recent announcements about national policy on Monju–namely, its fundamental review, including the possibility of decommissioning–meant that the siting area, which has been supportive of national policy, could be “sacrificed, suddenly left high and dry.”

Governor Nishikawa went on to ask the government to discuss the issue sufficiently and explain things responsibly. He further requested clarification of the government’s direction in establishing an operating body for Monju, as well as for promotion of the Energy R&D Centralization Plan. He also wanted a presentation of specific measures as soon as possible so that research results accumulated at Monju to date could be optimally utilized.

The future fate of Monju and the national policy on fast reactor development are both expected to be decided at a ministerial meeting on nuclear energy with relevant Cabinet members before the year finishes, taking local opinions such as the governor’s into account.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map


Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident

10 March, 2021
Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident04:11

Recent News

21 October, 2021
Kishida Makes First Visit to Fukushima Since Becoming Prime Minister
15 October, 2021
LDP Adds SMR Development and Nuclear Fusion to NPP Restarts in Its Policy Manifesto
7 October, 2021
Kishida Administration Inaugurated, with New METI Minister Hagiuda Holding Press Conference on Taking Office
6 October, 2021
IAEA Holds 65th General Conference in Vienna, with Japanese Minister of State for Science and Technology Delivering Statement in the General Debate
30 September, 2021
JAEC Releases 2020 White Paper on Nuclear Energy
17 September, 2021
NRA Permits Shimane-2 under New Regulatory Standards
14 September, 2021
IAEA Deputy Director General Evrard Visits Japan in Advance of Safety Review of ALPS-treated Water
1 September, 2021
Evaluation Report Issued by IAEA’s Review Mission to Fukushima Daiichi: First Visit since 2018
24 August, 2021
METI and IAEA Agree on Further Review Missions to Fukushima Daiichi
4 August, 2021
JAEA Restarts High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor “HTTR”
2 August, 2021
Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment
28 July, 2021
METI’s Committee Shows Rough Draft of Next Strategic Energy Plan
2 July, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarted After Decade-long Hiatus: First Restart in Japan of a Reactor Operating Beyond 40 Years
28 June, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarts after Decade-long Hiatus
25 June, 2021
New Canada-Japan Partnership Supports Greater Collaboration to Meet Climate Change Objectives and Net-zero Goals
24 June, 2021
METI Issues New Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality
16 June, 2021
ANRE Sticks to “S+3E”
16 June, 2021
Japanese Cabinet Approves Environmental White Paper 2021
16 June, 2021
LDP Parliamentary Association to Reconfirm Position on Utilization of Nuclear Power
16 June, 2021
Fukui Governor Concerned about Deletion of Reference to “Maximum Utilization” of Nuclear Power