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How does Japan justify keeping such a huge stock of plutonium? via The Hankyoreh

According to a document that was made public by the Japanese Cabinet Office in July, Japan held 47.8 tons of plutonium as of the end of 2015. Since 8 kg of plutonium is needed to manufacture a single nuclear warhead, that’s enough plutonium to make 6,000 warheads. Considering that the whole world was horrified to learn that North Korea is extracting plutonium from its 5 megawatt graphite-moderated reactor in Yongbyon, it is difficult to understand this double standard.
Japan’s justification for this has been its plan for a “nuclear fuel cycle” that it has pursued for several decades. Japan’s argument has been that, while it does possess a huge amount of plutonium, its purpose is to peacefully burn it in fast-breeder reactors, not to create nuclear weapons as North Korea is doing.
Responding to criticism from the international community about its plutonium stockpile, Japan has maintained that it will not store plutonium that it does not intend to use. In apparent recognition of the awkwardness of this situation, the Japanese government reconfirmed its plans to continue executing its nuclear fuel cycle plan, even after it shuts down the Monju reactor.

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