Violations of safety regulations found at Monju reactor

December 06, 2012

By JIN NISHIKAWA/ Staff Writer

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency failed to take proper procedures, including confirming safety, when it postponed inspections for nearly 10,000 pieces of equipment at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor, an industry watchdog said.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Dec. 5 that the agency extended inspection intervals at the reactor in Fukui Prefecture in violation of the safety program based on the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law.

The NRA will soon order the agency to investigate the cause and compile measures to prevent a recurrence.

Under the safety program, if inspection intervals for equipment are to be extended, the inspection plans must be revised after confirmation that the extensions will not compromise safety.

A total of 40,000 pieces of equipment at the Monju reactor are subject to inspections. However, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency did not revise its inspection plans for 9,679 items since July 2010.

For 1,551 of these items, including key equipment to detect neutrons in the reactor, the agency did not confirm safety or set the next inspection dates, according to the NRA and other sources.

By JIN NISHIKAWA/ Staff Writer
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The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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