Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (Which Produces Plutonium) Vital for Japan's "National Security"?

Mainichi: Atomic energy law's sly alteration is abuse of legislative process

[excerpted] "The Atomic Energy Basic Law was amended in the shadows of the hoopla surrounding the three-party agreement on a tax hike. The new clause allows the possibility of nuclear armament open to interpretation. It was an underhanded deal, in which an amendment to the Atomic Basic Law was merely incorporated into the appendix of a law on the establishment of a nuclear regulatory panel....

....Only at a meeting of an upper house environmental committee on June 20, when a DPJ lawmaker questioned whether nuclear arms development was the purpose of passing the bill, did it become public that a clause in the Basic Law had been revised.....

....the appendix in question adds a sentence stating Japan's atomic energy policy should contribute to national security.

What constitutes "national security?"....

....A deputy press secretary of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also said that the ministry is "watching the situation closely."....

...."It probably comes down to the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant," said a bureaucrat with whom I've been acquainted for years. "If the country moves toward the abandonment of nuclear power, that facility will lose meaning. If it is legally granted legitimacy as a facility for the military use of nuclear materials, then it can continue to exist. I believe that there were LDP lawmakers who thought of that, and bureaucrats who supported them...

...The Atomic Energy Basic Law went into effect in 1955, the same year that the LDP was founded. Fifty-seven years have since passed, and we are moving further and further away from democratic, independent and public disclosure principles. (By Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer)

[end excerpt]

Majia here: As of 2010, Japan had more than 46 tons of separated plutonium stored domestically and in Europe. 

As mentioned previously Joseph Trento claims the inventory actually ranges upward to 70 tons of plutonium. Japan’s Mox recycling program has been limited.

Japan’s newly completed Rokkasho reprocessing plant enables even greater stockpiling of plutonium.

Japan seems to have more plutonium stored than needed for its limited Mox program given the decision to discontinue the breeder reactor program.


New cold war is alive and well with Japan feeling very much like it needs a nuclear blanket.

Japan needs a nuclear blanket while its population is being poisoned by nuclear radiation.

Sick irony.

(Of course, we in the US have a government that promotes nuclear, and enforces rules that benefit the most powerful nuclear powers, while our population is being poisoned by radiation, as well.)





Piers Williamson Japan’s Nuclear Waste Problem: International Scientists Call for an End to Plutonium Reprocessing and Closing the Rokkasho Plant.  The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Vol 10, Issue 24, No 4, on June 11, 2012.

Suzuki, Tatsujiro. Japan’s Plutonium Breeder Reactor and its Fuel Cycle. In Thomas B. Cochran, Harold A. Feiveson, Walt Patterson, Gennadi Pshakin, M.V. Ramana, Mycle Schneider, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Frank von Hippel Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status: A research report of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (53-61). February 2010.  http://fissilematerials.org/library/rr08.pdf

Trento, Joseph. United States Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium, on April 9th, 2012 National Security News Service http://www.dcbureau.org/201204097128/national-security-news-service/united-states-circumvented-laws-to-help-japan-accumulate-tons-of-plutonium.html

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