Japan approves new nuclear plans seven years after Fukushima disaster

Published: 04 Jul 2018 By Grace Kimberley

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Japan has confirmed a new energy plan which looks to implement more nuclear energy, despite setbacks from the 2011 Fukushima earthquake- a natural disaster that caused one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.

Last Tuesday, the Japanese Cabinet approved the plans, whilst re-affirming the country’s commitment to transparency and the appropriate handling of plutonium. Despite the Cabinet’s constant reassurance over the years, countries such as the US have expressed deep concern over Japan’s plans to re-attain its nuclear sector.

The Japanese government has now abandoned its failed plutonium-burning test reactor Monju, which was initially the focus of Japan’s fuel recycling program. Japan is now seeking a replacement for the plant to hit the nation’s new energy targets.

"The energy plan makes clearer our commitment to reducing the amount" of plutonium, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told reporters. "The government will actively work to appropriately manage, use and reduce the plutonium."

Japan is responsible for almost 47 tonnes of plutonium- three-quarters of which is stored in France and the UK. This amount is enough to produce 6,000 atomic bombs, but Japan has reassured the world the plutonium is stored safely and is under protection from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

 

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