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Japanese Fast Breeder Reactor Program

Time Line

CNIC Articles and Press Releases


Time Line

1985, October: Commenced construction of Monju prototype fast breeder reactor

1994, April: First criticality at Monju

1995, August: First power at Monju

1995, December: Operations at the Monju prototype fast breeder reactor were suspended after a sodium leak and a fire caused by the contact between sodium and air. Although it has not been operational since the accident, Monju has continued to consume large quantities of electricity. For example, electricity consumption in 2004 was 58,533,960 kWh. This electricity is mainly used to heat the sodium to keep it in a liquid state.

2005, May: The Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Nagoya High Court, which had ruled that Monju's license approval was invalid. The Supreme Court's ruling gave the go-ahead for proceeding with the Monju fast breeder reactor program.

2005, September: Modification work commenced. The modifications are designed to fix problems identified after the 1995 accident .

2007, August: Functional tests (plant-confirmation tests) began.

2010, May 6: Recommenced operations for the first time since the 1995 accident.

2011, March: Begin raising power output to 40%. This was scheduled to begin in June 2010, but the date was set back due to problems with the fuel relay device.

2013, March (within 2012 fiscal year): Government target date for commencing full operations.

2015: Aim to present a "picture of commercialization of the FBR cycle..." by this date.

2025: Complete construction of demonstration FBR reactor (Date included in a METI report dated May 2006.)

2050: Target date for commercialization of fast breeder reactors.


CNIC Articles and Press Releases

Recent Shifts in Monju Policy
The government is attempting the continued use of Monju for the nominal purpose of reducing the volume of radioactive waste
(NIT158, Jan./Feb. 2014)

Japanese nuclear watchdog’s order to ban restart of Monju reactor indicates how disorganized the operator is (NIT155, July./Aug. 2013)

Rallies against the Monju Reactor (NIT146, Jan./Feb. 2012)

Monju's Never Ending Problems (NIT 140, Jan./Feb. 2011)

Failure to Remove Monju Fuel Relay Device: Long delay expected (NIT 139, Nov./Dec. 2010)

Accident at Monju (NIT 138, Sep./Oct. 2010)

Monju Restart Sets Alarm Bells Ringing (NIT 137, July/Aug. 2010)

Monju Restarted for the First Time in 14 Years (NIT 136, May/June 2010)

Monju Restart: Letter to Delegates at NPT Review Conference 2010 (May 21, 2010)

Statement of Protest Against Recommencement of Monju Test Operation (May 6, 2010)

Monju Restart: Protestors Send Letter to Owner JAEA (April 19, 2010)

Monju Restart: Appeal By Japanese Scientists (March 23, 2010)

Imminent Monju Restart a Dangerous Gamble (March 5, 2010)

Monju Restart: Like Playing Russian Roulette (NIT 134, Jan/Feb 2010)

Monju Restart Delayed Again (NIT 126 Sep./Oct. 2008)

Monju Plant-Confirmation Tests Begin (NIT 120 Sep./Oct. 2007)

Towards Monju Restart (NIT 119, July/August 2007)

FBR Report: a feasibility study for institutional preservation (NIT 112, May/June 2006)

Can safety be assured in the Monju modifications? (NIT 110, Jan/Feb 2006)

Modification work begins at Monju (NIT 108, Sept/Oct 2005)

Back-sliding on Monju (NIT 107, July/Aug 2005)

Monju: Supreme Court Snubs Citizens (30 May 2005)

Preparations Begin for Monju Reconstruction (News Watch, NIT 105, March/April 2005)

Nuclear Court Cases in Japan (NIT 104, Jan/Feb 2005)

New Nuclear Policy-Planning Council Interim Report: To Reprocess or Not to Reprocess - Four Scenarios (elsewhere translated as Long-Term Nuclear Program Planning Committee)

Developments since Monju Court Decision (NIT98, Nov2003-Feb2004)

Monju ruling at 2003 (NIT93, Jan/Feb 2003)


See also the following pages:

MOX and Pluthermal

Plutonium Stockpiles and Proliferation

Rokkasho Reprocessing etc.


Return to Nuclear Fuel Cycle front page



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