Investigations are being carried out by Japan Nuclear Fuel (JNFL) into whether water is leaking from a spent fuel storage pool at its Rokkashomura facility in the Aomori Prefecture. A leak detector had discovered that about 4000 litres has leaked since July 2001.
JNFL transferred the spent fuel to another pool and is now carrying out tests to check if the leak is coming from the pool. It is thought likely that the water leaked from the junctures where the stainless steel plates are welded together.
The first delivery of spent fuel to Rokkashomura was made a year ago. A reprocessing facility is expected to start up in 2005.