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 “nuclear white paper” approved by the Atomic Energy Commission is a response to intensifying pressure from Washington as it pursues denuclearization in North Korea. It says 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. Japan has pledged transparency and pledged not to possess plutonium that does not have a planned use, but the promise increasingly sounds empty because of the slow restarts of Japanese reactors that burn plutonium amid setbacks from the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Though Japanese officials deny any possible misuse of the material and reprocessing technology, the large stockpile of plutonium that can make atomic bombs also raises security concerns as the U.S. wants North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons.
Japan Today 6th July 2018 read more »