Group fails to report plans for plutonium via The Japan Times

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan has violated government policy by failing to compile a plan on how it intends to use the half ton of plutonium it expects to extract from spent fuel in fiscal 2012, sources said Saturday.

The deadline was March 31, when fiscal 2011 ended. Without a plan, Japan could come under international fire again for its blatant lack of transparency, given the risks of the plutonium being diverted for nuclear weapons use or terrorism.

Japan has around 30 tons of plutonium sitting around for nuclear power generation, but only a few kilograms are needed for a nuclear weapon.

In 2003, the Japan Atomic Energy Commission announced it would make annual disclosures of its plans for using extracted plutonium, in light of nuclear nonproliferation policy.

These include plans on which reactors will engage in plutonium-thermal power generation and for how long, as well as the amount of MOX, or plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, the reactors will use.

When asked to comment on the utility group’s failure to submit its 2012 plutonium plan, a member of the commission termed it “not desirable.”

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