A draft plan released by the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan indicates that the country will continue to conduct research and development of the Monju fast-breeder reactor through to around 2015.

The plan calls for an early resumption of operations at Monju, to demonstrate reliability and establish sodium-handling technology within a decade, before the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute presents a utilisation plan for the government to consider specific matters.

The commission will most likely formally decide on the long-term plan in late October this year.

Operations at Monju have been suspended since a sodium coolant leak in 1995.