Another malfunction at the Rokkasho reprocessing plant

Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd (JNFL) announced that it halted the preparatory work for a test run of the spent fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho. The problem was caused by a malfunction of a furnace that is involved in the radioactive waste vitrification process. A similar problem already caused lengthy delays - in 2008 and in September 2010 (another delay was reported in February 2009). The 2010 delay was reported to be the 18th delay in the history of the plant construction.

According to the Mainichi Daily News report, the president of JNFL expressed hope that the plant will begin the trial run in early February and full operation in October. However, the cause of the malfunction remains unknown.