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[cdn-nucl-l] Japanese fast breeder to restart
Friday November 24 8:20 AM ET
Japan To Restart Nuclear Reactor
TOKYO (AP) - Japan on Friday approved the reopening of an accident-tainted
nuclear reactor and defended its nuclear policy as vital for a resource-poor
Japan's Atomic Energy Commission decided to restart Japan's experimental
Monju fast-breeder reactor as soon as possible. The reactor was shut down in
December 1995 following an accident in which several tons of sodium leaked
from its cooling system.
The plan reaffirmed Tokyo's commitment to nuclear power, and it comes with
public trust in the industry shaken by a series of mishaps and cover-ups
including an accident last September at a reprocessing plant northwest of
Tokyo that killed two people and exposed hundreds to radiation.
Friday's plan didn't specify when the reactor, about 220 miles west of Tokyo
will be back in operation.
Japan relies almost entirely on imports for oil and other natural resources.
The government is betting heavily on nuclear power to achieve a measure of
long-term energy self-sufficiency.