"Japan’s nuclear watchdog will indefinitely suspend the use of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor over the operator’s disregard for safety that continued even after the Fukushima nuclear crisis raised concerns across the nation," writes Hideki Muroya in the Asahi Shimbun. "The Nuclear Regulation Authority's order will deal a further blow to Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling program, which has long been plagued by technical problems and scandals.
"In the latest case, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, operator of Monju, was found to have skipped inspections of nearly 10,000 pieces of equipment since 2010, including crucial devices in the safety and emergency systems at the plant, based in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.
"The company also violated its own safety regulations, according to the NRA.
"'Even when the reactor is offline, things stand in such a state,' an NRA official said after an on-site inspection of the reactor in February. “We cannot possibly approve a restart.” Read more. (Picture shows a still from video footage inside Monju during the 1995 sodium fire).