Japan’s nuclear policy-setting body has endorsed a call for stricter management of its fuel recycling program to reduce its plutonium stockpile. The annual report approved Thursday by the Atomic Energy Commission is a response to intensifying pressure from Washington as it pursues denuclearization in North Korea. It said Japan’s fuel recycling program should minimize the amount of plutonium extracted from spent fuel for reuse in power generation to eventually reduce the stockpile.
Business Insider 5th July 2018 read more »
Tokyo’s pledge to cut plutonium hampered by idle reactors. Under US pressure, Japanese government states reduction in new energy plan. Despite its latest pledge, Japan is expected to have trouble reducing plutonium stockpiles as public mistrust blocks reactor restarts and stalls its nuclear fuel cycle plan.
Nikkei Asian Review 4th July 2018 read more »
Former Obama official says Japanese plutonium reserves a potential threat to NK denuclearization. Japan has enough plutonium for around 6,000 atomic bombs. Thomas Countryman, a former US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation under the Barack Obama administration, voiced fears that Japan’s plutonium reserves – enough to make 6,000 bombs – could have a negative impact on Pyongyang and Washington’s denuclearization talks. In an interview published on July 2 in the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, Countryman said that Japan’s plutonium stockpile, which it claims to own for the purpose of its nuclear fuel cycle plan, is becoming an “international security concern.” “There are particular concerns that it could provide a rationale for nuclear weapon ownership to North Korea, which has nuclear non-proliferation as a goal,” he said, adding that the Donald Trump administration “also shares these concerns.”
Hankyoreh 3rd July 2018 read more »
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday gave the green light to the restart of an aging nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo, idled since it was hit by the tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The Tokai No. 2 plant is the first nuclear plant affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster to have cleared screening by the nuclear watchdog. Other steps are still required before it can resume operations. Due to the quake, the plant in the Ibaraki Prefecture village of Tokai suffered an emergency automatic shutdown of its reactor and was cut off from its external power source.
Japan Times 4th July 2018 read more »