JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM, INC.

for Japanese

ATOMS in JAPAN

22 December, 2016

Ministers Decide to Decommission Monju over Three Decades, Requiring USD3.2 billion

At a meeting held on December 21 of ministers related to nuclear energy, the Japanese government officially decided to decommission the Japan Atomic Energy Agency's prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) Monju (located in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture), without restarting it.

Inside the reactor building at the FBR Monju

At a meeting of the entities connected with “Monju”, held in the morning prior to the decision, Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa had insisted that “the decommissioning is unacceptable without local understanding.” The decision was thus made without obtaining local approval.

The government conveyed its decommissioning policy to the Monju-related parties at the meeting held on December 19, but Governor Nishikawa said, “The explanation is inadequate, and cannot be accepted whatsoever.” Concerning the successive troubles experienced by Monju and the fact that it had hardly operated at all, the governor pointed out that the national government had not sufficiently reflected on those matters. He also expressed his concern that the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)—which proclaimed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to be unqualified as an administrating agency—would be responsible for the decommissioning work. He also called for the consideration of a system that could ensure safety.

On the morning of December 21, the entities related to Monju again held at a meeting at the Tokyo offices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), at which the government reiterated its explanation of its decommissioning policy to Governor Nishikawa. At that time, he said, “If we fail to get the understanding and consent of Fukui Prefecture and Tsuruga City, it will be impossible to transition to the decommissioning.” MEXT Minister Hirokazu Matsuno then told him, “The future of Monju will be determined at the afternoon ministerial conference.”

Nuclear Safety Ceremony at Monju in 2005In its summary, the government indicated, “While Monju was not problematic insofar as its technology was concerned, it did suffer from management problems, including those of its maintenance framework, human resource development, and the relationships of responsibility among its various stakeholders.” Even so, the government could not get the understanding of the governor. So as to proceed with the decommissioning work safely, the government also announced a policy to establish a special system of decommissioning measures that it would lead and supervise, as well as technical evaluations by third parties.

After the meeting, the governor declared to a contingent of reporters, “We do not accept the reactor’s decommissioning.”

FBR MonjuIt is estimated that the government will have to spend at least JPY375 billion (USD3.2 billion at USD1 = JPY117) to implement the decommissioning of the reactor over three decades. The spent nuclear fuel within Monju will be removed by 2022, and the entire dismantling finished by 2047.

As its reason for the decommissioning, the government cited the need to spend more than JPY540 billion (USD4.6 billion) to meet to the new regulatory standards, developed in response to the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Accident.

Monju (280MWe) is a facility that symbolizes the nuclear fuel cycle, which involves the reprocessing of nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and extracts plutonium as fuel. Although it was described as a “dream reactor” that could produce more fuel than it consumes, the reactor experienced a series of troubles since its first criticality in 1994, including a sodium leakage accident. It never achieved full-output operation, and only operated for 250 days.

Comment

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

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map

Video

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
▲TOP