NRA Approves Screening Report for Joyo Fast Reactor

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Joyo fast reactor is seen in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in August 2020.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday approved a screening report concluding that the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Joyo experimental fast reactor has met new regulatory standards, a prerequisite for restarting it.

The report will be formalized after a public comment period.

The JAEA aims to restart Joyo, located in the town of Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture, at the end of fiscal 2024.

Started in 1977, Joyo is Japan’s only fast reactor, and has no power generation function. Due to an equipment problem, the reactor was shut down in 2007.

To cool its core, the reactor uses sodium, a liquid metal that is highly reactive with air, posing a fire risk.

In the report, the NRA confirmed that Joyo is equipped with a device to detect sodium leaks, as well as nitrogen gas equipment to be used in the event of such leaks. It concluded that the reactor meets fire safety standards.