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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 3 - 9  > Amount of Japan’s plutonium stockpile keeps increasing
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2016 February 3 - 9 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Amount of Japan’s plutonium stockpile keeps increasing

February 6, 2016
The amount of plutonium Japan possesses inside and outside the country totals 47.8 tons. Even the United States has been expressing concern over Japan’s ever-increasing amount of plutonium.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Fujino Yasufumi at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on February 5 quoted U.S. Assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology John Holdren as saying, “In the case of Japan, where there is already a sizable stockpile of separated plutonium, we would prefer not to see it grow.”

Fujino criticized the Japanese government policy of nuclear energy promotion for contributing to the increase in plutonium stockpiles, demanding that the government shift its nuclear energy policy.

The plutonium-thermal power generation project, which is the nuclear fuel recycling program using plutonium, started as an alternative to the unsuccessful fast-breeder reactor Monju. The recently resumed No. 3 reactor at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture operates on “pluthermal” power generation. As core thermal power in the reactor peaked on February 4, it is now ready for full capacity operation.

The JCP representative pointed out that an interim storage facility of spent fuel and a reprocessing plant for light-water reactor fuel cycles still remain incomplete, and that how to dispose of spent MOX (plutonium-uranium mixed oxide) fuel has not yet been found.

“Japan has been up against the wall on all sides,” said Fujino demanding that the No.3 reactor at the Takahata NPP should immediately go offline. He added, “Japan should abandon the nuclear fuel recycling program as it has no prospects to succeed.”

Past related articles:
> Reactivation of Takahama NPP sparks protest actions around country [January 30, 2016]
> Faulty fast-breeder reactor ‘Monju’ should be dismantled[November 6, 2015]
> Abe gov’t restarts nuclear reactors with no plan to dispose of ‘deadly ashes’[October 30, 2015]
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