Mainichi: Malfunction at Japan MOX plant — Mystery black particles found — Throws future of Japan’s nuclear cycle policy into doubt

Published: January 31st, 2012 at 9:04 am ET
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Title: Furnace malfunction hobbles Aomori spent nuke fuel reprocessing plant
Source: Mainichi Daily News
Date: Jan 31, 2012

A furnace malfunction at a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant [in Aomori, Japan] has stalled a planned trial run of the facility, throwing the future of Japan’s nuclear cycle policy into doubt. [...]

The technical impasse could prompt calls for a review of the country’s nuclear fuel cycle policy, under which spent fuel from conventional nuclear reactors would be reprocessed into MOX plutonium-uranium mixed-oxide fuel for so-called “pluthermal” and “full MOX” reactors. [...]

On Jan. 24, when workers started melting beads made from a mixture of glass and nonradioactive mock liquid waste in the furnace and pouring the molten material into a container below, they found the flow gradually slowing down, threatening to block the furnace outlet. Workers suspended the procedure three times and stirred the furnace interior in an attempt to restore function, but the glitch has not yet been fixed. Furthermore, unidentified and unexpected black particles each measuring several millimeters were found in the outflow. [...]

Read the report here

Published: January 31st, 2012 at 9:04 am ET
By

62 comments

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