Majia here: Japan shipped used nuclear fuel to the UK, beginning in 2010, for reprocessing to extract plutonium that could be stored and incorporated into Mox fuel. The cost for this reprocessing is rising because the British facility is LEAKING. The Asahi covers the story:
Spent nuclear fuel reprocessing costs nearly triples, a blow to utilities By SHIN MATSUURA/ Staff Writer April 08, 2013 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201304080007
[Excerpted] The cost for overseas reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from Japanese nuclear power stations has nearly tripled since 1995 because of problems at a contracted British plant, which is likely to further hurt utilities and be passed along in rate hikes for electricity users.
The cost surged apparently because the plant is plagued with a slew of problems, including leakage of waste liquid.
… The overall cost for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel into 790 more containers of waste [in the UK since 2010] that are scheduled to be returned to Japan is expected to be around 100 billion yen.
A rise in reprocessing costs is will strain utilities’ balance sheets further, and to be passed on to consumers, according to experts. [END]
Majia here: The article also explains that nuclear waste from the reprocessing process is shipped back to Japan.
It is not clear from the article whether the plutonium extracted in the reprocessing is sent back to Japan in the form of newly finished plutonium-enriched fuel or whether it is sent back to Japan in its extracted form.
Japan hopes that the Rokkasho reprocessing plant will fulfill domestically all plutonium extraction purposes.
However, Japan has massive stockpiles of plutonium. Why does it need more?
The exorbitant costs and risks associated with reprocessing spent fuel are mind boggling.Those costs and risks are being shifted to the people of Japan and elsewhere as the nuclear industry bears no legal responsibility for transnational harms.
- Jun 18, 2012 – Majia here: So Japan has stockpiles of plutonium that are about 40% .... http://