Mainichi on the Plutonium Paradox in Japan — What do you do with spent MOX fuel?

Published: January 28th, 2012 at 11:47 am ET
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Title: Japan’s plutonium stockpile builds as nuke fuel cycle policy hits dead end
Source: Mainichi Daily News
Date: Jan 28, 2012
Emphasis Added

Japan’s stockpile of plutonium had reached 45 metric tons by the end of 2010, inviting suspicion from the international community about what Japan intended to do with the fissile material. [...]

Meanwhile, the chances of directly disposing of plutonium by burying it underground in Japan are just about zero.

As such, if “full MOX” reactors don’t get up and running, there will be no way for the country to consume the plutonium.

On the other hand, if these reactors do go on line, Japan will end up with increasing amounts of spent MOX fuel it has no way of dealing with.

In the background of this dilemma is the possible cancelation of the MOX-fueled Monju fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture. [...]

Read the report here

Published: January 28th, 2012 at 11:47 am ET
Email Article Email Article

Related Posts

  1. Fox News: “All of the stricken reactors and spent fuel pools contain plutonium” March 18, 2011
  2. Nuclear physicist suspects No. 3 MOX spent fuel rods have spread out and surrounding area is contaminated with plutonium — “You can never return to this place again” May 9, 2011
  3. Mainichi: Japan’s secret promise with U.S. to burn plutonium — “It is abnormal for sure” — “Expected to stir up controversy” July 2, 2013
  4. Plutonium-burning reactors to restart in Japan? — Gov’t forcing companies to use MOX fuel — Official: “We have no other choice” June 25, 2013
  5. Major report on plutonium published in Mainichi by expert senior writer December 11, 2011

40 comments to Mainichi on the Plutonium Paradox in Japan — What do you do with spent MOX fuel?

  • NW

    OT (where should this go?)

    It’s an update on Fukushima as of two days ago and about cancer remedies.

    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Gee..a paradox…
    They hadn’t really though that through?..yet in 2009 Japan took in the largest load of MOX fuel in history.
    I wouldn’t let these guys fix my garage door….

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  • Bones Bones

    What civilized society would accumulate plutonium and uranium at the risk of it’s own people’s health and lives? I think if the people ever had a real vote in nuclear energy while knowing the facts that nuclear power never would have been developed as it is today.

    There is absolutely no permanent solution to storing massive quantities of radioactive elements and there never will be. They have to be removed from the planet and shot into space or the sun. So by the time we get space elevators or travel to space is guaranteed to be safe, we will be able to take care of the nuclear “waste.”

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  • tony wilson

    if these reactors do go on line, Japan will end up with increasing amounts of spent MOX fuel it has no way of dealing with.

    simple answer they will do what makes the greatest profit for japan/usa crime inc.
    sell it or just Volatilize the mox by burning or how about another controlled explosion.
    sure is a quicker and easier than local storage.
    you could call it plutonium mox world sea and land ope.n air storage.
    lord mombiot of the guardian says we should all help japan and are health by ingesting a little mox everyday.

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  • rebelgroove

    What to do with used MOX?

    Easy. Sell it back to the US for them to poison more of the middle east with it.

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  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Paul Langley today:
    US Human Radiation Experiment­s Apology
    How long before Japan does the same in regard to Fukushima?
    January 28, 2012
    “I’ll probably be very ancient before it happens in Japan. But it will happen. What the HUMAN TOLL by then will be….who knows?
    Clinton apology for human radiation experiment­s

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    • Bones Bones

      Absolutely disgusting, just like the chemical tests the MIC and the political class, have subjected every single person in “civilized” societies to. Food additives, pharmaceuticals, DU, radioactive experiments, druggings, thefts, you name it the government has done it by force!

      I think the only solution is to end the government by force hierarchical philosophies that have been hammered into people’s brains by the owning class of the world.

      The waste is the least of their worries sadly. This will be “debated” in the media for years. They will lobby that it is not as bad chernobyl and that the limited risk is acceptable. If they can pull off the cold war, they can pull that off. We will never win until we remove the philosophy that a society can only exist with an undemocratic government that rules by force and brainwashing through propaganda and that people deserved to be owned as commodities by the owning class. Until then, we will always have nuclear power and be poisoned by the waste (Which isn’t waste since it is used in bombs), nuclear plants, DU, well you get it.

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      • hbjon hbjon

        Your right Bones. When your right, your right. But let’s not lose faith in sunflower seeds just yet. Give them a chance to work. You heard of Johny Apple Seed? Whoopie Pot Seed? Well, make room for Johny Sunflower Seed. Kinda reminds me of how Hitler wanted to capture the ethanol from the bakeries to run the German war machines. He instructed the Army to research it. And warned it should be done systematically. Perhaps there is some unknown force that can convert the ionizing energies into beneficial plant growth within the flower. My reference to this possibility is hidden within one of the great works of Dylan Thomas. The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower

        by Dylan Thomas

        The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
        Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
        Is my destroyer.
        And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
        My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

        The force that drives the water through the rocks
        Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
        Turns mine to wax.
        And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
        How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

        The hand that whirls the water in the pool
        Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
        Hauls my shroud sail.
        And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
        How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

        The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
        Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
        Shall calm her sores.
        And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
        How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

        And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
        How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

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        • Whoopie Whoopie

          Thank you for that hbjon. I really got inspiration yesterday after reading this piece. Hope you all saw it. POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Japan can survive without nuclear energy

          PLUS TEPCO plans to shut down all Nuclear Plants in May temporarily. That’s when the Japanese need to SHOW THEM THEY DONT NEED NO NUCLEAR.

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        • moonshellblue moonshellblue

          Daniel Brenner, 01/2011 in the book JUNE

          We will sacrifice questions like
          Is it the same
          To radiation’s light
          With love’s air anguish
          You know where
          Gorgeous dolphins will thrash &

          Radioactive wagons burn
          Dollops of cinnamon sugar
          Will flow in jets 2 vases
          They will flee as the waters surge

          The books will float awhile
          Away from their private heat
          Of TV’s and space stations
          Hot light will tramp down traces &
          Tumble handfuls of camouflage
          Into the cover where they will wait for you

          The egrets
          I mean
          The radioactive shock will be gone
          Its concrete will have tumbled
          Under a chorus of storms

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      • Whoopie Whoopie

        And to think…I remember Clinton giving that apology. They are all SUCH TOOLS.

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  • dodge

    Confucius say “He who rides tiger is afraid to dismount”.

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  • Room101 Room101

    What to do with spent MOX fuel? Aerosolize it, eject it into the atmosphere. Problem solved. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

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    • aigeezer aigeezer

      I’ve been thinking off and on about the “aerosolize” meme. In our various discussions we seem to say either “it’s been aerosolized” or “it’s mostly been aerosolized, but some chunks have landed here and there”.

      I’m guessing the latter is closer to the truth, but these days I’ve been wondering about who may be looking for “chunks”, and how, and why.

      We had long been told that no trace amount must fall into the hands of bad guys and that “the authorities” knew where every microgram was at all times (hah!). In view of that, the relatively nonchalant response by “the authorities” to finding this stuff is puzzling.

      At risk of starting yet another rabbit hole discussion… if some of this stuff gets found by bad guys, it gives tptb another excuse to “increase security” everywhere and to reassert their claim that only they are entitled to access this stuff, and that only they know how to use it “safely”.

      Sorry about all the “scare quotes”. It’s a scary subject.

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      • Room101 Room101

        Hi ai!
        Maybe we are, in fact, the bad guys. I think our entire generation/culture has been living in a dream world where we think that this is Star Wars and we are the rebel alliance. The truth is, we are simply maintenance workers in the Death Star and Darth Vader is our superhero. We cheered together when he struck down Ben Kenobi. We cheered together when Alderaan was destroyed. We stink as a group, and we have created a stench that will tinge this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. This is our legacy, I fear.

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      • or-well

        Scare quotes? “Nuclears safe in the Land of Ozium,”
        Dorothy said as she wiped Totos pawsium,
        “the Tin Pot reactor-can never will spew
        ‘cuz deep in its heart there’s a cold shutdown flue,
        or something like that,” she said, laughing ad nauseum,
        “that’s what the Wizard says
        to paid applausium, and the cowardly lyin’ anti-m-nukers
        can ride any tornado which catches their ranch,
        cuz I’ve got a brainless friend made from a branch
        of establishment science and he says they never
        act like flying monkees
        so build nukes wherever
        there’s no place like home!”
        But the cowardly lion
        harrumphed and harrumed
        and finally found
        his couragium
        and bit off her head
        just to shut her up
        then gobbled up Toto
        the small yapping mutt.

        The End.

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      • hbjon hbjon

        You’re right aigeezer. When your right, your right. Main focus is to shoot any and all animals that have been in or around the broken npp’s. Top secret report shows monkeys have been taught to collect Plutonium and put it in a lead box filled with mineral oil. I seem to recall monkeys being let loose in the npp’s to collect data. Hmmmmmm. Gun please.

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  • radegan

    None of you understand the new Japanese method of “Say/Happen” – related to the’Think-Play’ system alluded to in The Music Man. They don’t need to perform ‘cold shutdown’ they only need to say so (with a Yamashita grin) and it will happen. When they need to get rid of old mox fuel they will only need to put on ruby slippers and with a Yamashita grin all say, “We say it, it happens.”

    If that doesn’t work, Plan B is to make little Mox Clocks for everyone and export them everywhere – “Do your share to dilute Fukushima, put a Mox Clock on your mantle.”

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    • This dilution solution is already happening globally.

      The nuke industry believes that every nuke plant and research facility can ‘safely’ release huge amounts of radioactive gas, and other elements, just during normal operations, because it will be ‘diluted’.

      The same theory goes for any acccidents. The nuke industry brags that it can take a Chernobyl accident every year, because ‘dilution’ will take care of any radiation releases.

      This same theory applies to Fukushima. Just release the radiation into the ocean, it will be ‘diluted’.

      Just release the radiation into the air, and it will be diluted.

      Just spray it on the forests, and it will be diluted.

      Just burn the radioactive rubble and it will be diluted.

      Just dump the radioactive ash in the Tokyo Bay and it will be diluted.

      Just let people eat radioactive food globally, and it will be ‘diluted’, among the worlds population and 20,000 future generations.

      Very little has changed since Chernobyl blew up and radiated everyone, except that many more nuclear accidents and releases happened, plus way more radioactive substances are now in the air, on the ground and in the ocean as well as inside all of us.
      What kinds of things are inside of us you ask?

      How about a little bit of 93 different long lived radioactive elements lasting anywhere from 17,000 years to BILLIONS of years in total decay life, plus maybe some more that do not last as long?

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    • or-well

      Mox Clocks!
      No knock Offs!
      Money talks and bullcrap walks!
      They get our melted rocks off
      the Isles of Japan!
      Light your room and the future
      With Radium Dial & Plutonium Hands!
      Sterilise socks for Babys feet
      or the smelly holds
      of the fishing fleet!
      Invite Neighbors and Friends
      to help count down the End
      and get Japan out of hock!
      Don’t mock – your retirement fund
      holds our value-less stock!
      Hey – why is the safety catch
      off of your Glock?

      Report comment

  • jec jec

    MOX has been disposed of..UNDERGROUND! These people are NUTS, and not only are poisoning JAPAN but everywhere else. Now Japan is building new JAPAN CITIES, will all things Japanese, INDIA and SOUTH KOREA. One has to wonder if these cities will be like museums, or a library to store the Japanese way of life.”investors” or the “pretty people” get to live there. Japan’s citizens just PAY for this it looks like. Of course, TEPCO is transfering ITs stock to the new corporation. They just need a few more months to keep hiding the disaster from Japanese citizens until they have time to get finances migrated, and then Bye Bye Japan.

    Bet this kind of agreement was in the “missing” minutes of government and TEPCO after the 3-11-11 Nuclear Explosion. Oh–and the fact they need time to get as much evidence hidden about the nuclear programs they were running….against international laws. Probably was like this “How do we coverup the nuclear program we were doing with India and S. Korea as customers?”, “Hide the radiation from citizens, it will take a year for most illness to show up”, “Those people north of Tokyo are already too radiated, it will cost too much money to help them”. “If they are left in place, they will receive much more damaging radiation, getting sick faster.” “If people get sick, they will be to ill to fight for funding, they will die before they recieve money.” “With a year lead time, we can get new homes for the elite built in safe counties,” “let the taxpayer pay for it.” One could put in almost all of the above –and it’s likely similar to discussion in the secret meetings….
    Now the new “cooperation” with India, S. Korea makes perfect sense. And with Russia as well.Building NEW JAPAN in “partner” nations. Everyone keeps quiet because they dont want anyone to “confess” Japan was

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  • Alice Alice


    Don’t. Create. It. In. The. First. Place.

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  • What civilized society would accumulate plutonium and uranium at the risk of it’s own people’s health and lives?

    a society that needs it for bombs to put up a system of threat which makes everyone feel peaceful….

    Report comment

  • dear jones

    Nuclear Bomb !!!

    Report comment

    • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

      Many Nuclear Bombs…over 400 of them worldwide, specializing in sterilizing the human race.

      Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain!

      Report comment

  • arclight arclight

    seems strangely right to put this here!! :)

    “can show you a nuclear power plant the size of a hot tub.

    Don’t believe me?

    Consider this: The U.S. Navy has been using small, self-contained nuclear reactors in its submarines since the 1950s.

    And now, with the help of new advancements in materials and computerization, the Navy’s nuclear power technology is finally coming to the private sector.

    These new small nuclear power plants are super safe. They’re often sealed at the factory to prevent any possibility of leakage. They’re extremely cheap to set up and bring online, especially when compared to both their big brother nuclear power plants and traditional fossil fuel energy producers.

    And these mini nuclear energy providers are “plug and play” systems. In many cases, small nuclear power plants need no adjustment, refills or emptying for decades after they come online.

    Orders have started pouring in for my top three mini-nuke companies.

    Alaska’s remote communities – which, let’s be honest, is most communities in Alaska – are investing in small nuclear reactors as a reliable power source after decades of dependency on diesel deliveries over icy roads.

    Asian and African governments are putting their funds into these small nuclear power plants to produce the clean electricity that could finally make unpolluted water a reality for millions of people.

    And populous American and European municipalities are turning to small nuclear reactors as cheaper, faster and easier alternatives to their behemoth big brothers.

    All of these countries and cities are looking for ways to provide clean electricity while still saving money….”

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  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    18/01-2012 MOSCOW – “Some three hundred nuclear time bombs are to cross the vast expanses of Russia within the next dozen years as Moscow embarks on its plan to send special-purpose trains with spent nuclear fuel (SNF) burnt at the country’s commercial reactors to a storage facility in Siberia. That’s the “solution” the nuclear industry has come up with for the ever mounting problem of nuclear waste – take it cross-country and pile it up where it will threaten the environment and public health for generations to come.”

    “The first train bound for Krasnoyarsk Region in Central Siberia – where a repository is being built for both Russia- and foreign-produced nuclear waste – will carry spent nuclear fuel generated at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), a site near Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg, in the country’s northwest.”

    “The date of departure – the first in a large-scale series of shipments devised to scoop up and stow away nuclear waste from all over the country – is being kept secret. The State Nuclear Corporation Rosatom plans to move some 22,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel to Siberia before 2025. This means three new trains loaded with dangerous waste – 300 shipments in total – will be arriving in the closed town of Zheleznogorsk, also known as Krasnoyarsk-26, every second month for the next thirteen years.”

    “Spent nuclear fuel is the most hazardous kind of radioactive waste nuclear power plants produce. It contains plutonium, an isotope with a half-life of 24,000 years. The nuclear industry vehemently objects to this material being referred to as waste, arguing it is instead a valuable resource that can be used again as fuel after reprocessing – a highly questionable process that itself generates hundreds of times more radioactive waste as a result.”

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  • americancommntr

    If Japan wants to get rid of plutonium, maybe making it non-radioactive would do it. Maybe they ought to experiment with Brown’s Gas flame.

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