Tokai Reprocessing Plant. Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute. Location: Ibaraki/Japan. Completion: 1974.
Tokai Power Station is an improved type of nuclear power plant, using natural uranium and carbon dioxide gas cooled reactor. The facility is built according to Japan's unique, earthquake-proof design, which was largely adapted from the Calder Hall type reactor developed in the United Kingdom. The plant commenced commercial operations in July 1966 as the nation's first commercial nuclear power station.
The technical expertise gained from construction and operation of Tokai Power Station served as the solid foundation for further strides in the field of nuclear power engineering in Japan.
The power station now, however, has disadvantages from an economic standpoint because the carbon dioxide gas-cooled reactor has a relatively low power output for the volume of reactor and heat exchanger. This raises the cost of electricity generation compared with light water reactors. And since this type of reactor is unique to Japan it is more expensive to maintain and for fuel cycling. Taking these factors into consideration, the company terminated It's commercial operation on March 31st,1998.
The Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (RRP) is located on the northern coast of Japan's main island. RRP is currently being constructed in Rokkasho Village by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL), and is scheduled for completion in 2005.
Upon commissioning, RRP will process spent fuel from Japanese lightwater reactors using what the PUREX method, a process that dissolves spent fuel in nitric acid and then separates uranium, plutonium, and high-level waste.