Leak reported at Japan’s materials test reactor

15 September 2023

Japan Atomic Energy Agency announced that a pool of radioactive water had been found in the radiation uncontrolled area of its materials test reactor in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture. The amount of radiation in the water was small and posed no threat to the environment or people, the agency said. The reactor is not in operation. Kyodo News cited JAEA as saying four leaks were detected within the Plutonium Fuel Development Room No 3 at the J Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Laboratories in Tokai village.

The contamination was discovered during a routine inspection of the glovebox equipment, which is designed to be airtight. The contamination was found both above and below the glovebox, with the highest level of radioactive activity measuring approximately 33 becquerels. Although the glovebox contained nuclear fuel materials, it had not been in recent use and was undergoing a biennial routine inspection, according to JAEA. Investigations are underway.

Image: JAEA's materials test reactor in Oarai

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