Asahi: Panel backs nuclear fuel reprocessing after talks with industry officials May 24 2012http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201205240100
[excerpt] "A Japan Atomic Energy Commission panel revised its draft policy evaluations to favor nuclear fuel recycling after closed-door consultations with pro-nuclear officials from the industry, sources said...
A senior official of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., which operates a spent fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, called for plant operations to continue, the sources said..."
MAJIA HERE: Why would Japan want to continue re-processing nuclear fuel?
There are only 3 reasons I can think of that Japan would want to continue "re-processing" a.k.a. "enriching" nuclear fuel.
1. They plan to re-start breeder reactors and/or reactors that can run on MOX fuel, which contains a much higher percentage of plutonium.
2. They plan on selling re-processed fuel to other nations.
3. They have a nuclear weapons program that they want to continue producing plutonium for.
Any of these answers is deeply unsettling.
Perhaps both they are all correct?
Japan has a history of "re-processing" fuel
AND of stockpiling plutonium by purchasing it from other nations.
Please see my post here: