A draft plan released by the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan indicates that the country will continue to conduct research and development of the Monju fast breeder reactor through to around 2015.

The plan calls for an early resumption of operations at Monju, to demonstrate reliability and establish sodium-handling technology within a decade, before the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute presents a utilisation plan for the government to consider specific matters.

The commission will most likely formally decide on the long-term plan in late October this year.

Operations at Monju have been suspended since a sodium coolant leak in 1995.