Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Dounreay learning shared at Japanese fast reactor
The Monju fast reactor in Japan
Co-operation in the spotlight
It was fantastic to see the start of a dialogue between stakeholders around Dounreay and those in Tsuruga, Japan where work is starting to decommission the fast breeder reactor Monju, which shares many similarities with the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) – they’re both sodium cooled.
Our Chief Executive David Peattie and Strategy and Technology Director Adrian Simper both travelled out to Japan to discuss a range of topics to further nuclear co-operation between the two countries. The Vice-Chair of Dounreay Stakeholder Group, Councillor Struan Mackie, was also present at the reception in Tokyo where Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was the guest of honour.
The collaboration on Monju was initiated more than a year ago, and arose following a meeting between Adrian and the Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
Promoting UK expertise
Under the Nuclear Sector Deal, the NDA is working alongside Department for International Trade (DIT) on promoting the UK’s nuclear expertise to maximise future export orders across the nuclear lifecycle. The contract with JAEA will see ‘Team UK’, comprising experts from Cavendish Nuclear, Wood plc and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd use expertise developed through decommissioning PFR to support decommissioning of the Monju reactor, located on the country’s northern coast. We’re also grateful to Kazu Kuwahara, from our subsidiary International Nuclear Services Japan KK who contributed hugely to the discussions.
Clean-up work under way at Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor
NDA has been able to pass on many of the lessons learned at Dounreay to JAEA, who are drawing up a lifetime plan for decommissioning the Monju reactor, with the aim of saving time and cost. A member of the Monju workforce will also start a six-month secondment at Dounreay next week to work with DSRL in support of PFR decommissioning.
30-year decommissioning programme
Monju opened in 1994 but, after transmitting electricity for the first time, was closed just four months later when around 700kg of liquid sodium leaked from the secondary cooling loop. A re-start in 2010 was affected by technical problems which subsequently required refuelling equipment to be replaced, however, the country’s nuclear regulators refused permission for operator JAEA to continue. In 2016, the Japanese government announced it would be decommissioned. The decommissioning programme is expected to take 30 years.
It’s exciting to have come this far: working on the project has been a great opportunity to showcase the talent and experience we’ve developed in the UK over many years, and demonstrates how we can support overseas decommissioning projects where this does not detract from delivery of our core mission.
Read more blogs about our international work
You may also be interested in:
- A year of hazard reduction at Dounreay
- Japanese nuclear specialists learn from UK expertise
- 50 years of knowledge helps build range of unique devices
Sharing and comments
Latest News from
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Ruth scoops global award for work on gender inclusion07/11/2019 16:47:00
A Cumbrian communications professional has won an international prize for her work to encourage more females into the nuclear industry.
DRS' Managing Director wins at Women of the Year Awards07/11/2019 12:05:00
Debbie Francis has won the award for ‘demonstrating the courage to challenge and make a real difference in a male-dominated industry’.
Cyber training programme up for national award05/11/2019 14:15:00
The NDA's cyber security training programme has been announced as a finalist in the Investors in People awards for its success in supporting apprentices.
Satellites set to help clean up nuclear sites04/11/2019 16:15:00
The NDA is collaborating with the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to explore whether data collected by satellites orbiting the earth could be turned into useful insights for the nuclear clean-up mission.
UK Space Agency - Nuclear sites set to benefit from space data challenge04/11/2019 10:17:00
Satellite technology could be used to support the clean up of UK nuclear sites, as part of a new Space Data Challenge launched by the UK Space Agency in collaboration with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).
Robots on the rise and heading for Cumbria29/10/2019 14:19:00
A range of innovative robotic systems will be on display at an event in Cumbria next month as an £8.5 million competition moves to the next stage.
Dounreay supplier day looks at clean-up opportunities28/10/2019 11:15:00
Dounreay's latest supplier information day, hosted jointly with companies appointed to its decommissioning services framework, has proved popular with companies from around the UK .
Royal visit marks long-standing dialogue with Japan21/10/2019 12:15:00
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has been hearing first-hand how the UK and Japan are collaborating on nuclear decommissioning when she attended a reception at the British Embassy in Tokyo.