Thursday, March 30, 2006

 

JNFL to start the first Japanese commercial reprocessing plant

March 29, JNFL signed with the Governor Mimura and Rokkasho-mura Village Mayor Furukawa on the environemntal protection agreement. The signing ceremony was held at a hotel in the capital Aomori city on Wednesday. Combined with the approval by the central government's nuclear safety regulator NISA, this agreement allows JNFL to start testing to reprocess real spent fuels. The first shredding process of a real PWR fuel will start on Friday.

Local newspaper To-O-Nippo provides video image from a helicopteur on the web. You can see Rokkasho wind farm turbines, Mutsu-Ogawara strategic oil stockpile tanks, and the Rokkasho reprocessing plant.
For Windows Media click here
For Real Player click here

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

 

Governor Mimura OKs active testing

Aomori prefecture governor Shingo Mimura announced at a press conference March 28 that he would give JNFL a consent to start "active testing", the plant tests reprocessing real spent fuels. The governor said he made the decision by considering the opinions from the prefectural assembly members, central government ministers' support, recommendations from his advisory bodies, comments of pro- and anti-nuclear group leaders, and discussions with JNFL president Mr. Kojima.
Mimura, Rokkasho Village Mayor Mr. Furukawa and Mr. Kojima will sign Wednesday on the environmental protection agreements. JNFL will start the tests on Saturday at earliest.
The nuclear safety regulator NISA of the Ministry of Economy, had already approved the JNFL's testing plan on March 27.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

 

Governor Mimura to meet Ministers

Aomori prefectural government offerred March 24 the central government to hold a meeting with relating ministers on March 27 to confirm their support to the governor's policy. Governor Mimura requested the following ministers and the President of FEPC Mr. Tsunehisa KATSUMATA (President, CEO of Tokyo Electric Power) to attend.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shinzo ABE,
Ecnomy Minister Mr. Toshihiro NIKAI,
Science Minister Mr. Kenji KOSAKA,
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Mr. Iwao MATSUDA,
Atonmic Energy Commissioner Dr. Shunsuke KONDO,

The Governor has already got supports from the prefectural assembly to sign with Rokkasho Mayor and JNFL on environmental protection agreement. By confirming the central government's standoints including the promotion of nuclear fuels cycle, radioactive vitrified wastes disposal, and peaceful and transparent utilisation of plutonium, Mimura will give JNFL concent to go onto active testing at Rokkasho reprocessing plant.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

 

High-level wastes arrived

JNFL and FEPC announced the high-level radioactive vitrified wastes, which were transported from Cherbourg, France, arrived at JNFL's facility March 24. The transportation of the vitrified wastes to the receiving faclility completed by 13:16 JST, JNFL says.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Minister Nikai visited Rokkasho reprocessing plant

Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshihiro NIKAI visited on March 21 the reprocessing plant for the first time, to see the plant's readiness for the active testing and check the safety measures. After the two-hour-long tour at the facility, guided by JNFL president Mr. Kojima, Mr. Nikai told the reporters that he realised the series of efforts that had been done by the prefectural and municipal governments, JNFL, and JNFL's contractors in order to achieve high standard of plant performance. Noting that Japanese economy is highly depending on energy sources from overseas (96%), the Minister expressed his respects to all the local stakeholders who contributed to the most fundamental national energy policy, i.e. building nuclear fuel cycle inside the country.
Before the site tour, Minister Nikai met the governor Mimura and the village mayor Furukawa at the headquarter building of the JNFL Rokkasho site.


 

High-level wastes arrival delays

JNFL and FEPC announced 'Pacific Sandpiper' the high-level vitrified wastes carrier vessel, which departed Cherbourg February 1, would arrive Mutsu-Ogawara port at 1 p.m. March 23. Unloading and transporting wastes into the receiving facility would start 6:50 in the morning of March 24, according to the announcement. The ship is carrying 164 canisters of high-level radioactive wastes that were separated form Japanese power companies' spent-fuels at la Hague reprocessing plant.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

Economy Minister Nikai to visit Rokkasho

Minister for Economy, Trade and Inudstry, Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, will visit
Rokkasho reprocessing plant March 21, to observe the nuclear fuels cycle
facility, and to see Mr. Mimura the Governor of Aomori Prefecture.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

 

Wastes and spent fuels arrive, the process still underway

JNFL announced that its Rokkasho disposal site recieved 1,080 drums of low-level radioactive wastes from Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station on Saturday March 18. JNFL also announced its spent fuel storage facility, neighbouring to the reprocessing plant recieved spent fuels from four nuclear power stations Thursday March 16. The spent fuels were from Mihama Nuclear Power Station (30 PWR fuels), Oh-i NPS (70 PWRs), Shimane NPS (88 BWRs), and from Genkai NPS (70 PWRs). Including these, the total amount of SFs being stored in the storage pool is 1,729 tons-U (pre-burn).
Governor Mimura's consent process to the commencement of the active testing is still underway. The prefectural government held an additional public meeting on March 9 in the city of Aomori (capital of the prefecture), and requested each faction at the prefectural assembly to express its standpoint to the active testing by March 20. After collecting opinions from the assembly, the Governor will seek a chance to meet ministers of central government, and then will express his decision on the active testing.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

 

JNFL to recieve LLW from Chubu Electric power co.

JNFL announced February 24 that it will recieve low level radioactive wastes from Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station, owned and operated by Chubu Electric Power co. Unloading the wastes will start March 17 and end 18.


 

High-level wastes from France will arrive at Rokkasho March 22

JNFL and FEPC announced the high-level radioactive wastes carrier ship "Pacific Sandpiper" will arrive at Mutsu-Ogawara port of Rokkasho-mura village on March 22. The ship departed Cherbourg February 1.


 

Low-level wastes unloaded at Rokkasho

As announced on February 15, JNFL completed on March 8 recieving low-level radioactive wastes from Fukushima-Dai'ichi and Fukushima-Daini nuclear power stations of Tokyo Electric Power co. The wastes were transported from the stations by a ship being contained in 2,160 drums. JNFL will inspect them before laying down under the ground.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

 

Governor Mimura heard pro- and anti-nuclear opinions

On February 4, the governor Mimura heard opinions from pro- and anti-nuclear group leaders and from academia. The meeting was held at a hotel in Aomori-city in Saturday morning. It was opened to the public, and around 100 audience heard the speeches by 24 leaders and researchers.

Pro-nuclear leaders like a board member of prefectural chamber of commerce told they understood the necessity of nuclear power development for resource poor Japan, and would support the reprocessing plant entering into the active testing while requesting JNFL to secure safety.

Then eight anti-nuke group leaders including Ryoichi Hirano, a president of Action Committee Against Unloading Nuclear Waste and Fuels, expressed they stood against to the use of nuclear
energy, reprocessing spent fuels, use of plutonium for electricity, discharge of low-level liquid and gas wastes, the government's plan of high-level wastes disposal, and so on.

Anong academia researchers, one radiology physician recommended the governor to postpone the decision to allow JNFL to enter into the active testing citing that wind mill generation can
replace nuclear power generation. Another speaker emphasised he wanted sooner commercial operation of the reprocessing plant. The other four researchers just expressed the necessity of safe operation.
At the end of the meeting, the governor Mimura said he would refer to the opinions and would carefully consider whether or not to give consent to JNFL's active testing plan.


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