On September 14, 2017, the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) hosted a panel with Japanese officials regarding the 47 metric tons of plutonium the Japanese government has stockpiled in the country. One of the panelists, a former US nuclear weapons designer, explained how, contrary to claims by the Japanese nuclear industry, this “civilian” plutonium (Pu-240) is usable in a nuclear bomb. (Pu-239 is the standard plutonium isotope used in nuclear weapons.) The presence of the fifth-largest stockpile of fissile materials on the planet is unique for a non-nuclear nation, and carries with it the potential to further destabilize a fragile East Asia.
Charged Affairs 27th Nov 2017 read more »
The governor of Japan’s Fukui Prefecture has today approved the restart of units 3 and 4 of Kansai Electric Power Company’s Ohi nuclear power plant. The utility reportedly plans to restart both units by mid-March.
World Nuclear News 27th Nov 2017 read more »
Japan has to choose between two evils. Since a tsunami struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on the East coast of the country, the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima has had to deal with a severely contaminated nuclear power plant, and 900 tanks filled with radioactive water that need to be pumped from the station everyday. It is a costly vicious circle, and the amount of stored water just keeps growing.
IB Times 27th Nov 2017 read more »