The JRR-3M research reactor in Japan. Courtesy JAEA. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has resumed operation of its JRR-3M research reactor near Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo in eastern Japan.

In November 2018, after four years of safety examinations by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, JAEA was given approval to carry out work at the facility to make sure it met new regulatory standards introduced after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daichi accident. The facility had been shut down for a periodic inspection in 2010 and was never restarted.

After seismic retrofitting and other safety work was completed, JAEA finally carried out the periodic inspection. Full-scale operation is scheduled to begin at the end of June.

JRR-3M achieved first criticality in 1962 when it was known as JRR-3. It was Japan’s first research reactor using domestic technology and contributed to research in the early days of commercial nuclear power in Japan.

In 1985 modification of the facility began because demand for higher performance had increased along with the progress of nuclear energy development in Japan. JRR-3M – or “Japan Research Reactor No.3 Modified” – reached its first critically in March 1990 as a high-performance multi-purpose research reactor with maximum output of 20 MW.

Date: Tuesday, 02 March 2021
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