In an open letter to US President Obama the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists urged him to change his support for Japan’s nuclear reprocessing program. Currently the US and the State Department have been pressuring Japan to continue building the reprocessing facility and MOX plant at Rokkasho. The logic had been that the full fuel cycle provided an outlet for spent fuel to be reused but the actual process extracts plutonium into a form that has great proliferation risks. With Japan’s nuclear program in doubt and their MOX and fast breeder programs all but dead the country has no outlet for any reprocessed nuclear material.
The reprocessing plant at Rokkasho is already in testing mode and is already releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and Pacific ocean. At full production the contamination released every day would be massive.
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