Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant
The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility (六ヶ所村核燃料再処理施設 Rokkasho Kakunenryō Saishori Shisetsu ) is a nuclear reprocessing plant with an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium or 8 tons of plutonium. It is owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, and is the successor to a smaller reprocessing plant located in Tōkai, Ibaraki in central Japan which ceased operation in 2007.
The reprocessing plant is part of the Rokkasho complex located in the village of Rokkasho in northeast Aomori Prefecture, on the Pacific coast of the northernmost part of Japan's main island of Honshu, which also includes:
- A high level nuclear waste monitoring facility
- A MOX fuel fabrication plant
- A uranium enrichment plant
- A low level radioactive waste landfill
In 2010, the Rokkasho complex consisted of 38 buildings on an area of 3,800,000 m². 
Since 1993 there has been US$ 20 billion invested in the project, nearly triple the original cost estimate. Construction and testing of the facility is complete, and it has been reported that the plant will begin operating in October 2013; however this may be delayed by new safety regulations due to be promulgated in December 2013.
In May 2006, an international awareness campaign about the dangers of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant, Stop Rokkasho, was launched by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Greenpeace has opposed the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant under a campaign called "Wings of Peace – No more Hiroshima Nagasaki", since 2002 and has launched a cyberaction to stop the project. Consumers Union of Japan together with 596 organisations and groups participated in a parade on 27 January 2008 in central Tokyo against the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant. Over 810,000 signatures were collected and handed in to the government on 28 January 2008. Representatives of the protesters, which include fishery associations, consumer cooperatives and surfer groups, handed the petition to the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Seven consumer organisations have joined in this effort: Consumers Union of Japan, Seikatsu Club Consumer's Co-operative Union, Daichi-o-Mamoru Kai, Green Consumer's Co-operative Union, Consumer's Co-operative Union "Kirari", Consumer's Co-operative Miyagi and Pal-system Co-operative Union.
In June 2008, several scientists stated that the Rokkasho plant is sited directly above an active geological fault line that could produce a magnitude 8 earthquake. But Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited have stated that there was no reason to fear an earthquake of more than magnitude 6.5 at the site, and that the plant could withstand a 6.9 quake.
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
After the Tōhoku earthquake in March 2011, the plant ran on emergency power provided by backup diesel generators. The emergency generators were not intended for long-term use. Reportedly there are about 3,000 tons of highly radioactive used nuclear fuel stored in Rokkasho at current, that could overheat and catch fire if the cooling systems fail. Japanese radio reported on 13 March that 600 liters of water leaked at the Rokkasho spent fuel pool. According to The New York Times, grid power was restored on 14 March 2011.
- Stop Rokkasho – Opposition group
- Rokkasho Rhapsody – A documentary by Hitomi Kamanaka on the plant
- Other Reprocessing Sites:
- 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
- Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents
- Heinonen, Olli J. (June 2010). "Safeguards in action: IAEA at Rokkasho, Japan". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- The Failures of Japan's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Program - 1956–2007
- Japan's Nuclear Plan Unsettles U.S.
- Stop Rokkasho
- Wings of Peace – No more Hiroshima Nagasaki
- Rokkasho: Nobody talks, Nothing changes « Consumers Union of Japan
- World Nuclear News (WNN). Vitrification line tested for Japanese waste
- Japanese nuclear plant in quake risk Nature.com, 2008
- Japan's nuclear facilities face quake risk
- Biello, David (11 March 2011). "How to Cool a Nuclear Reactor". Scientific American online. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- Schneider, Mycle (11 March 2011). "Nuklearanlagen droht nach Erdbeben Überhitzung (German language)". Focus online. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Smith, Aileen (13 March 2011). "Breaking News—Japan Nuclear Power Plant Accidents and Earthquake". Green Action Blog. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- BRADSHER, KEITH; TABUCHI, HIROKO (17 March 2011). "Greater Danger Lies in Spent Fuel Than in Reactors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 March 2011. "Grid power was restored on Monday, the company said."
- Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log, IAEA, 7 April 2011
- Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log, IAEA, 8 April 2011
- R. Ludwig et al.: Quality Control in the OSL Rokkasho: Status after Four Years of Operation ESARDA Bulletin, No. 44, June 2010
- CNIC Citizens' Nuclear Information Center: Rokkasho and Japan's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Policy http://www.cnic.jp/english/topics/cycle/rokkasho/index.html