Further delay for Rokkasho reprocessing plant

03 November 2008

[Japan Times, 1 November] The trial operation of the Rokkasho used nuclear fuel reprocessing facility is not expected to be completed in November, as scheduled, according to Isami Kojima, president of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL). The further delay has resulted from JNFL being required to submit an additional report to the government on a test it restarted in October to produce vitrified waste. The facility will produce vitrified waste by mixing high-level radioactive liquid waste with molten glass in a furnace. The government has asked JNFL to revaluate the vitrifying process and file an additional report because the incidence of metal chaff accumulating on the bottom of the furnace has increased. Kojima said that JNFL "will try our best to finish (the trial run) by the end of this year."