Govt needs to thoroughly explain nuclear fuel cycle project to U.S. via The Japan News

The nuclear fuel cycle project, which reuses spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants, is the main pillar of Japan’s nuclear power policy. In view of the serious energy situation, it is essential to make efforts to win understanding on this issue both at home and abroad.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman has raised doubts over Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle policy, stating at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, “I would be very happy to see all countries get out of the plutonium reprocessing business.”

He expressed a negative view toward moves by countries such as China and South Korea to consider a nuclear fuel reprocessing plan, saying such moves would raise concerns about nuclear security and nonproliferation.

The United States will host the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington late this month. The remarks by the U.S. assistant secretary of state apparently aim to keep China and South Korea in check by stressing the U.S. stance of leading the nuclear nonproliferation drive.

The existing Japan-U.S. nuclear power cooperation agreement that entered into force in 1988 exceptionally allows Japan to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and enrich uranium.

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