26th postponement of the commissioning of the Rokkashô-mura nuclear reprocessing plant in Japan. It should have started in 1997…

July 29, 2022
At a press conference on July 29, Naohiro Masuda, president of JNFL, which is constructing a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village, said that the plant’s target completion date, which is approximately two months away, “has reached a point where we have to consider postponing it. JNFL is considering the postponement of the construction of the Rokkasho Nuclear Power Plant.

JNFL has set the target completion date of the spent fuel reprocessing plant it is constructing in Rokkasho Village for the first half of this fiscal year, by September of this year.

At a regular press conference held on September 29, JNFL President Masuda stated, “Next week we will have less than two months to complete the plant, so we would like to consider the future outlook based on the status of the examination. We have reached a point where we need to consider postponing the project,” he said, indicating that he would consider postponing the project.

President Masuda cited as reasons for the postponement the ongoing Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of safety measures and other work that are prerequisites for completion, as well as the fact that the amount of work has increased from the original plan and that the plan needs to be carefully examined in order to proceed safely.

Regarding the time frame if the project is postponed, he stated, “I don’t think it will be something that will take two or three years,” but he also indicated that it is not expected to last more than a few months.

The reprocessing plant was originally planned to be completed in 1997, 25 years ago, but has been postponed 25 times due to repeated problems.

The reopening of the uranium enrichment plant has been postponed.
JNFL announced on April 29 that the plant in Rokkasho, which manufactures enriched uranium needed to produce nuclear fuel for use in nuclear power plants, will resume operation in February of next year, instead of September of this year, based on the status of safety measures and other factors. JNFL announced on April 29 that the resumption of operations at the Rokkasho uranium enrichment plant, which is located in Rokkasho Village, has been changed to February next year.

The uranium enrichment plant in Rokkasho is the only commercial facility in Japan that produces enriched uranium, which is necessary for nuclear fuel used in nuclear power plants. The plant has been out of operation since September 201 7 in order to conduct safety work to comply with the new national regulatory standards.

JNFL announced on the 29th that it had changed the date of resumption of operation to February next year, citing delays in the safety work.

[President apologizes for trouble with reprocessed liquid waste.
Naohiro Masuda, president of JNFL, apologized for the trouble at the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho village, saying, “I would like to express my deepest apologies for causing great concern to the local community.

At the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, the cooling system for one of the tanks storing high-level radioactive liquid waste stopped functioning for about eight hours on the second of this month.

At the beginning of the press conference on March 29, JNFL President Masuda stated, “I would like to express my deepest apologies for causing so much concern to the local community. I am very sorry.

JNFL has stated that one of the two lines circulating water to cool the tank was under construction, and that a worker who was instructed to close the valve on that line may have inadvertently closed the valve on the line that was still in operation. The company claims that this is the case.

Regarding measures to prevent recurrence, President Masuda explained that valves that affect the cooling function are physically locked so that they cannot be operated, and that when safety-related equipment is placed in one line for construction or other reasons, monitoring is strengthened more than usual.

He added, “We will thoroughly implement measures to prevent recurrence and continue to place the highest priority on safety.