Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI)
And
Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC)
Have been unified and become

Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
On October 1st, 2005


topics

Monju Modification Work fully launched
5th September 2005

Monju modification work started on September 1st, 2005. Before this main work, preparatory work such as removal of lighting apparatus, installation of temporary electric power supply and drilling of walls had been undertaken to modify Monju, the prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor.

The modification work is expected to last 17 months. The modifications include replacement of temperature sensors in the secondary heat transfer system, modification on sodium leakage countermeasure and improvement in safety characteristics of the steam generator. Then improved system function tests for verification of installed equipment and total system function tests for preparation for regular operation are scheduled to be carried out.

 
Outline

Welcome to the website of the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC). JNC was formed in October 1998 as a successor organization of Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC); its mission is to perform the development of the advanced technology required to establish the complete nuclear fuel cycle.

JNC's key projects are those which form the basis of the fuel cycle, these are: the fast breeder reactor (FBR), advanced reprocessing, plutonium fuel fabrication and the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. In cooperation with its partner organizations, JNC has undertaken a Feasibility Study aimed at establishing a commercialization concept which maximizes the economic competitiveness of the fast reactor and associated cycle while ensuring the highest levels of safety.

To achieve its technical objectives and demonstrate the transparency of its nuclear research, JNC maintains many international contacts and invites overseas specialists to work in Japan.

JNC was created following a wide-ranging independent review of nuclear cycle R&D in Japan. Its work and staff were inherited from PNC. However, JNC differs from its predecessor in the important respect that it is concentrated exclusively on a single well-defined development goal. Several other significant changes were also made in order that JNC would have improved management and safety, and be more responsive to public demands for greater information disclosure.

JNC is a government-funded research and development organization under the supervision of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). JNC employs approximately 2,300 staff and its budget amounts to 130 billion Japanese Yen as of Fiscal Year 2003.

On its sites, JNC had operated electric-power producing prototype nuclear power stations (MONJU & FUGEN) and one experimental reactor (JOYO), while FUGEN ceased its operation in March 2003 and entered into the preparation phase for the decommissioning. In addition JNC has operated a reprocessing plant, MOX fuel fabrication plant and R&D facilities for high-level radioactive waste disposal in Tokai. JNC has two Underground Research Laboratories programmes, one of which is Mizunami URL located in the central part of Japan and the other URL is located in Horonobe, Hokkaido, northern island.

The Corporate Headquarters of JNC is at Tokai. Because its two prototype reactors are located in the Tsuruga area (Fukui Prefecture), JNC has also created a Tsuruga Head Office to supervise their activities. For effective communication with the local people JNC also has a liaison office in Fukui City. The JNC office in Tokyo maintains contacts with governmental organisations, foreign embassies and project partners based in the capital.

In December 2001, it was decided by the Japanese Government that a new entity would be established merging JNC and Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), another institute responsible for nuclear research in Japan, within the context of the overall reform of government-funded organizations. We are in the preparation phase for the merger with the discussion being made on the role and management of the new entity in the Task Force established within the MEXT. The new entity is scheduled to be set up in 2005.

The merger, however, is not meant to change the nuclear policy in Japan in any way. R&D on the nuclear fuel cycle will remain one of the core activities of the new entity.


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