Work resumes on Aomori atomic fuel storage site

Kyodo

Recyclable-Fuel Storage Co. said Friday it has resumed constructing a facility to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture, about a year after work was halted for safety checks due to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear crisis.

The company, set up by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co., now plans to postpone the start of operations at the facility to October 2013 from July 2012.

Peripheral construction resumed last April, but building the facility itself remained suspended. On the plan to build two structures with a total capacity of 5,000 tons, the first one is currently about half completed.

The company said it has not decided when to start constructing the second structure, but it is aiming to begin storing spent fuel at the second unit about 10 to 15 years after the first unit starts operations.

The facility is designed to store spent nuclear fuel for up to 50 years before it is reprocessed. Spent fuel generated in Japan is expected to exceed the capacity of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.’s reprocessing plant in the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.