TOKTO: The Japan Atomic Energy Agency plans to ship spent nuclear fuel from the Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor, which is under decommissioning work, to France from fiscal 2034, a senior science ministry official revealed Wednesday.
The plan was presented by Masato Masaki, head of the ministry’s research and development bureau, during an online meeting with Hiroshi Sakuramoto, deputy governor of Fukui Prefecture, where Monju is located.
The shipment process is expected to be completed in fiscal 2037.
The final decision on the matter is expected after cost estimates by French nuclear fuel cycle company Orano SA. are examined.
At the online meeting, the deputy governor appreciated the plan as “a further step forward” and called for speeding up talks among relevant bodies to conduct shipments in time.
The same day, the JAEA began work to move 124 nuclear fuel assemblies remaining inside the Monju reactor to a storage tank filled with sodium coolant. It plans to finish the work by the end of the year.
The reactor initially had a total of 530 fuel assemblies, and 406 of them have already been moved to a water pool.