Japanese groups say the US Congress and government officials are expressing concern about Japan’s plutonium stockpile. A non-profit organization, the New Diplomacy Initiative, and another group jointly reported the outcome of meetings with members of Congress and US officials at an event in Tokyo on Thursday. The meetings were held 3 times through June. The 1988 nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States authorizes Japan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and recycle plutonium for use in reactors. The pact is to expire on July 16th, but is expected to be automatically renewed. A participant in the event referred to concern in the US that Japan should explain in detail how it plans to shrink its plutonium stockpile, which has reached 47 tons. The reuse of plutonium has been facing difficulties in Japan. The government has decided to decommission its Monju prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor, which was designed to operate using plutonium. And the country’s program to run nuclear reactors on MOX fuel, which is a mixture of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel and uranium, has been delayed.
NHK 13th July 2018 read more »