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ATOMS in JAPAN

2 August, 2016

Japan Had 47.9 Tons of Plutonium Holdings in 2015

A report on the current state of plutonium management in Japan was presented at a regular meeting of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) on July 27.

As of the end of 2015, Japan possessed a total of 47.9 tons of so-called “separated” plutonium, both domestically and abroad. Of that, 10.8 tons were held within Japan—the same as the previous year—while 37.1 tons were managed overseas, up 100kg as a result of a reprocessing request to Britain.

In 2016, the total is expected to fall by 1.2 tons, for two reasons. First, plutonium in the MOX fuel was burned during the operation of the Takahama-3 and-4 Nuclear Power Plants, owned and operated by the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP). Second, research plutonium will be returned to the United States.

JAEC Chairman Yoshiaki Oka and its secretariat stated that Japan provides information with a very high level of transparency within the nuclear nonproliferation framework, in response to requests by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The country also accepts many strict inspections, in addition to comprehensive safeguards and acceptance of the IAEA’s model additional protocol to its safeguards agreement.

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