Nuclear regulators on Wednesday said a troubled fuel reprocessing plant in the northeast of the nation has passed safety checks, bringing it a step closer to beginning operations after more than two decades in limbo. The plant in the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, is designed to take spent fuel from reactors and extract uranium and plutonium that can be reused, playing a key role in the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy. The Nuclear Regulation Authority said the plant had cleared tougher standards introduced in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, including requirements for more robust measures against earthquakes and tsunami. It set a one-month period to solicit feedback from industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama and other parties concerned. Construction of the plant began in 1993. It was originally scheduled for completion in 1997, but persistent difficulties forced the timeline to be pushed back 24 times.
Japan Times 13th May 2020 read more »