Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority put on hold the plan to start operations of the reprocessing plant in Rokkasho. According to an editorial published in Asahi Shimbun, NRA has decided not to carry pre-operation tests of the plant until it approves new safety standard, which it is expected to do in December 2013. Accordingly, the plant will not be able to begin operations before at least 2014.
This would be another delay for the Rokkasho plant after a malfunction of a furnace forced the operator of the plant, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL), to postpone test runs in January 2012. The test runs reportedly resumed in June 2012.