A nuclear fast neutron experimental reactor or Monduyu breeder reactor was commissioned in Japan in 1995. Its main feature is the ability to convert uranium into plutonium, which can then be used as fuel for nuclear power plants with traditional reactors and even for the production of weapons-grade plutonium.
Fast neutron reactors also benefit from the fact that the U238 isotope used in them is 99% of the total uranium produced. This means that with its help it is possible to process practically useless “crude” uranium ore in the most valuable nuclear fuel.
However, Japan’s nuclear installation, which was so necessary for Japan, almost immediately began to suffer setbacks. Just a few months after the launch at the Mondju reactor, a large sodium leak occurred, which resulted in the release of toxic gases and damage to part of the reactor. As a result, it had to be taken out of service until 2010.
But even after the restart in 2010, serious problems emerged. In particular, it turned out that part of the reactor was not subjected to the necessary technical checks for a long time.
It is estimated that the full restoration of the reactor would have cost $ 4 billion, with a total cost of $ 9 billion, resulting in the Japanese government decided to stop it and sell it later.
But this does not mean that Japan completely abandoned fast neutron reactors. It is reported that a decision has already been made to build a new installation instead of the Mondju reactor, even despite the curtailment of many nuclear projects after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant .