A group of Japanese nuclear scientists reported on Thursday they intend to create a reactor meltdown in controlled conditions, during an experiment meant to teach them how to deal with future disasters.
A smaller version of a reactor will be used during the test at a research facility in Ibaraki, north of Tokyo, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
“We want to study exactly how meltdowns happen and apply what we will learn to help improve ways to deal with severe accidents in the future,” said a spokesman for the government-backed engineering agency.
The project will start this year, some time after April, and will use a small fuel rod that will undergo a very rapid fission process, according to the international press.
Similar tests have been carried out so far in France and the United States, but never in Japan, said the spokesman.
He added that the experiment will have nothing to do with analyzing how the disastrous accident happened at Fukushima in 2011, after a violent earthquake and tsunami hit the nuclear plant.
At that time, the plant went through meltdowns and explosions, spewing radioactive materials over a large area.