All that would be destroyed

Beyond Nuclear International

The Rokkasho reprocessing plant could ruin everything

By Kiyohiko Yamada, with additional contributions by Kurumi Sugita and Jon Gomon

There is a nuclear fuel cycle center in Rokkasho village, located at the tip of Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture, in the northernmost part of the main island of Japan.

On April 9, 1985, the governor of Aomori Prefecture gave the green light for the Rokkasho center to proceed. At first, it comprised three facilities:

•a uranium enrichment plant

•a fuel reprocessing plant

•a low-level radioactive waste repository

Later, two more facilities were added:

•a temporary storage facility of high-level radioactive waste returned from overseas after reprocessing,

•a MOX fabrication plant.

The nuclear fuel cycle center of Rokkasho village is operated by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL), notorious for its incompetent management. In October 2017, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Autority (NRA) reported that JNFL violated safety measures. As the Mainichi Shimbun

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