Japan predicted to junk problematic Monju fast reactor

Technical and safety issues have been plaguing the reactor.

A series of technical, economic, and safety problems has been lashing Japan's prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor at Monju in Fukui Prefecture since it achieved criticality in 1994. It has only been operational for 250 days prior to the March 2011 Fukushima accident.

According to reports, further revelations of a massive accounts of equipment inspection failures in 2012 and lax management practices let the Nuclear Regulation Authority to conclude that the operator, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, was not qualified to safely operate the reactor.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which oversees the Monju project, estimated that at least $5.7b (JPY580b) will be needed to restart the reactor. In assumption, this means that it would take around a decade for the operator and the government to complete all the works needed just to refurbish the facilities. Another five to six years will be needed to get the reactor running.