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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 7 - 13  > Scientists request to freeze plutonium-thermal power generation
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2009 October 7 - 13 [ENVIRONMENT]

Scientists request to freeze plutonium-thermal power generation

October 10, 2009
The Japan Scientists’ Association (JSA) on October 9 requested the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and the ruling Democratic Party to freeze the planned start of plutonium-thermal power generation.

The JSA called on the government and the LDP to make efforts to form a national consensus about the nuclear fuel cycle.

JSA’s Research Committee on Energy and Nuclear Power Problems has examined the safety and necessity of the use of mixed (uranium and plutonium) oxide fuel (MOX). The JSA concluded, “The plutonium-thermal program is based on extremely poor technology because it will create a large amount of plutonium, a dangerous radioactive material that will circulate in society and will produce dirty plutonium, which is difficult to dispose of. Thus, it has few advantages in regard to the effective use of resources.”

An official of the agency promised to convey the JSA’s request to the director general of the agency. A DPJ policy research commission representative also said, “There are various opinions about the plutonium-thermal issue within the party.”

The government and electric power companies plan to extract plutonium from the spent fuel and to make MOX fuel in order to use it for light water reactors. It is pointed out, however, that the use of MOX fuel, or the plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, in light water reactors increases the dangers associated with nuclear power plants compared to the use of uranium fuel.
- Akahata, October 10, 2009
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