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Japan is missing its own deadline to find a new operator for a prototype nuclear power program that has failed to succeed in the two decades since it was built, threatening the resource-poor country’s support of a technology other nations have abandoned.

The country’s nuclear regulator in November demanded that a replacement for the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency be found within six months for the troubled Monju fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture. Monju, which has functioned for less than a year since its completion more than 20 years ago, now faces the possibility of being scrapped.

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