(Tokyo Shimbun: November 20, 2015 – p. 2)
It was learned from informed sources that a part of the fuel handling machine (FHM) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s (JAEA) Monju fast breeder reactor dropped from a crane at a height of about 30 centimeters in late October. The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) had recently recommended the JAEA’s replacement as the Monju’s operator. No one was injured and there was no leakage of radioactive substances in this incident, so the JAEA had not filed any report on the grounds that the incident did not meet the legal requirements for reporting.
A part of Monju’s emergency diesel generator also dropped from a crane last July. A NRA official pointed out: “The JAEA keeps repeating the same mistakes. It lacks management capability.”
The above sources revealed that on Oct. 23, a box containing the FHM’s washer (weighing approximately 300 kilograms) dropped while being lifted by a crane inside a building in the restricted area where equipment inspections are conducted because the wire slipped off the reel.