Japan inaugurates new body for nuclear fuel reprocessing

The organization will manage Japan’s 49 tons of plutonium and 17 million kg from 56,000 used fuel assemblies for the next 241,000 years

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The industry ministry said Monday a new body for supervising nuclear fuel reprocessing has been established as the Japanese government seeks to retain a recycling policy, obliging 10 nuclear plant operators nationwide to fund the body for an uninterrupted reprocessing program.

The Nuclear Reprocessing Organization of Japan opened its head office in Aomori City in northeastern Japan. It mandates nuclear power utilities to shoulder the cost of reprocessing spent fuel in the form of financial contributions to itself.

Until now, power companies voluntarily set aside reserves to be used for reprocessing programs.

The new entity draws reprocessing operational plans and consigns them to Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., whose main shareholders are power companies, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The body plans to set up a representative office in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, where Japan Nuclear Fuel has facilities for reprocessing.

In May, a law to strengthen state involvement in nuclear fuel reprocessing cleared Japan’s parliament, paving the way for securing funds to continue recycling nuclear fuel.

The ministry granted authorization for the establishment of the new body on Sep. 20 under the Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Fund Act.

http://kyodonews.net/news/2016/10/03/82298

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