Will Japan continue its participation in a French nuclear reactor development project that has an uncertain prospect of being put to practical use? The matter should be thoroughly studied by the government. The French nuclear power authority has announced that the development of a fast reactor called ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration), research on which has been promoted in cooperation with Japan, will be downscaled. It is said that its output will be reduced from two-thirds to one-third of the capacity of the prototype fast breeder reactor Monju, whose decommissioning was decided by the Japanese government in 2016. The French government also takes a passive stance toward the practical use of fast reactors, saying that there isn’t much urgency in developing them. It is hard to escape doubts as to whether Japan will be able to obtain satisfactory technological results by cooperating in the fast reactor construction. The fast reactor is a high-performance reactor capable of efficiently using nuclear materials such as plutonium, which is reprocessed from uranium, in addition to the uranium used by a conventional reactor.
Japan News 9th June 2018 read more »