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Approval for Tokai nuclear reprocessing plant BEFORE safety screening!

NRA to approve restart of reprocessing facility  http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20131211_29.html Japan’s nuclear regulator plans to approve a partial restart of a facility for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel before it clears safety screening under new regulations.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority says it’s allowing the restart to make plutonium and other highly radioactive waste in the facility solid and more stable.

The authority said on Wednesday that it plans to allow the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency to operate part of the plant in Tokai Village, about 100 kilometers north of Tokyo.

The decision comes after the agency sought permission to restart the facility soon, saying that keeping the waste in liquid form involves high risks.

NRA commissioners said the facility’s stockpiles of plutonium solutions and other liquid waste will be made safer when reprocessed into solids.

They came up with a plan to allow part of the facility to run for 5 years before checking is done under the enhanced regulations.

The facility stores 3.5 cubic meters of solutions containing plutonium and more than 400 cubic meters of highly radioactive liquid waste. NRA secretariat officials say reprocessing the plutonium solutions into powder will take about 2 years, and turning other liquid waste into glass 21 years.

The new regulations are to take effect on December 18th. The NRA is to give formal approval after confirming that the agency can ensure stable reprocessing at the plant.

December 13, 2013 - Posted by | Japan, reprocessing, safety

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