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Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant

The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (六ヶ所村核燃料再処理施設 Rokkasho Kakunenryō Saishori Shisetsu ?) is a nuclear reprocessing plant owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited located in the village of Rokkasho in northeast Aomori Prefecture, Japan. Since 1993 there has been US$ 20 billion invested in the project, nearly triple the original cost estimate.[1] It is currently undergoing test operations, separating a small amount of used nuclear fuel. It is the successor to a smaller reprocessing plant located in Tōkai, Ibaraki.

At the same site there will also be:

The low level waste disposal part is of very little notability compared to the other facilities, as they are common at nuclear plant sites as well.

Protests

In May, 2006 an international awareness campaign about the dangers of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant, Stop Rokkasho,[2] was launched by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Greenpeace has opposed the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant under a campaign called "Wings of Peace - No more Hiroshima Nagasaki",[3] since 2002 and has launched a cyberaction[4] to stop the project. Consumers Union of Japan together with 596 organisations and groups participated in a parade on Jan. 27, 2008 in central Tokyo against the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant[5]. Over 810,000 signatures were collected and handed in to the government on Jan. 28, 2008. Representatives of the protesters, which include fishery associations, consumer cooperatives and surfer groups, handed the petition to the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Seven consumer organisations have joined in this effort:

Consumers Union of Japan

Seikatsu Club Consumer’s Co-operative Union

Daichi-o-Mamoru Kai

Green Consumer’s Co-operative Union

Consumer’s Co-operative Union “Kirari”

Consumer’s Co-operative Miyagi

Pal-system Co-operative Union

Vitrification tests completed in November 2007. This consists of pouring high level dry waste reside along with molten glass into steel canisters.[6]

In June 2008, several scientists stated that the Rokkasho plant is sited directly above an active geological fault line that could produce a magnitude 8 earthquake. But Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited have stated that there was no reason to fear an earthquake of more than magnitude 6.5 at the site, and that the plant could withstand a 6.9 quake.[7][8]

See also

References

Coordinates: 40°57′45″N 141°19′35″E / 40.9625°N 141.32639°E / 40.9625; 141.32639

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