(Asahi: November 21, 2015 – p. 7)
[Earlier this month,] the Nuclear Regulation Authority submitted a recommendation to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology that it find a new operator for the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor. At a press conference on Nov. 20, Makoto Yagi, chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) and president of Kansai Electric Power Company, said, “It would be very difficult for an electric power company [EPCO] to take over operation [of Monju].” Japan Atomic Power Company, a power company solely engaged in nuclear energy, expressed the same view.
Chairman Yagi was responding to a question about whether an EPCO could serve as the new operator [of Monju]. Chairman Yagi explained, “The government is in charge of the R&D stages of Monju. EPCOs work with commercial reactors.” He added, “EPCOs do not have the technical expertise [required]” as sodium is used to cool nuclear reactors.