Japan Government Formally Decides to Decommission Monju Reactor (News)


Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government formally decided on Wednesday to decommission the trouble-plagued Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in Tsuruga in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui.

At a meeting of relevant ministers, the government also determined that it will maintain its nuclear fuel cycle policy and continue to develop a new fast reactor by obtaining necessary knowledge through cooperation with the ongoing French project to develop the ASTRID fast-breeder reactor.

Science minister Matsuno Hirokazu told a press conference that he will voluntarily return some five months of salary and bonuses to take responsibility for Monju not producing the desired outcome.

But he also said that he thinks the experimental reactor achieved "certain results," even though it only reached 40% of its output capacity at most during its time in operation.

Although the government stresses the continuation of the development of a fast reactor, no one would argue that Japan's nuclear policy has run into an impasse, critics said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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