Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why Does Japan Insist on Reprocessing Nuclear Fuel?

I really don't understand this persistence. Am I missing something obvious?

New reactor projects still on: Edano. Japan Times Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012

[Excerpted] Kyodo AOMORI — Construction of new nuclear plants will be allowed if the government has already approved the projects, trade minister Yukio Edano said Saturday...

"I am not considering changing (construction plans for) nuclear power plants for which the industry ministry has given the go-ahead," Edano said in talks with local leaders in Aomori....

...Under the new policy, the government plans to continue the program to recycle all spent nuclear fuel for reuse, while also aiming to end atomic power....

Majia here: Why does Japan need to continue "recycling" spent nuclear fuel? 

Japan has linked the Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant to "national security."  To repeat:  Reprocessing or "recycling" fuel is linked to Japan's national security 

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

Is Japan simply trying to reduce its spent fuel inventory by producing mox or other plutonium "enriched" fuel to sell to other nations? 

Or, is it aiming to produce for storage still more plutonium? Japan hoards plutonium ( 

How much plutonium does it need? It is strangely disturbing.

Some previous analysis on the subject of Japan's plutonium stockpiling and the "recycling" of nuclear fuel.

Jun 18, 2012
Japan has a major fuel storage problem and spent fuel management purportedly has been a driver in Japan's reprocessing requirements, according to Suzuki who contributed a chapter on Japan's plutonium breeder program ...

May 29, 2012
I posted recently about criticism of the secret meeting that was held to recommend re-starting processing of nuclear fuel in Japan. ... Asahi: Panel backs nuclear fuel reprocessing after talks with industry officials May 24 2012 ...

Jun 03, 2012
[Except] “Nuclear industry officials say they hope to start producing a half-ton of plutonium within months, in addition to the more than 35 tons Japan already has stored around the world… “It's crazy,” said Princeton University ...

Jun 17, 2012
I have posted quite a bit on Japan's reprocessing of nuclear fuel to produce plutonium. Japan decided to discontinue its efforts to "close the fuel cycle" by "breeding" plutonium fuel in fast-reactors. The death knell of the breeder ...

Jun 26, 2012
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 ...

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