Launch of Rokkasho reprocessing plant is likely to be delayed

According to a story in Japan News, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL) is going to delay the start of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant until the spring of 2016. When the construction of the plant started in 1993, it was expected that it will begin operations in 1997.

Preparations for the start of the facility were suspended after a malfunction of a furnace in January 2012. Since then the start was put on hold pending completion of safety inspections carried out by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The inspections were expected to be completed in time to allow the start of the facility in October 2014.

The JNFL in its statement (in Japanese) admitted that it might be challenging to complete the inspections in October 2014, but did not confirm that the start of the facility operations will be delayed.