AUTHORBurnie, Shaun / Barnaby, Frank
TITLENuclear Proliferation in Plain Sight: Japan’s Plutonium Fuel Cycle–A Technical and Economic Failure But a Strategic Success
PERIODICAL TITLEThe Asia Pacific Journal
DATE PUBLISHED3-1-2016
VOLUME NUMBER14
ISSUE NUMBER5
PAGE NUMBERS1-53
ISSN0217-4561
Web Access
Available online from The Asia Pacific Journal


This article focuses on Japan’s efforts to salvage its programs that use plutonium to fuel the MONJU fast breeder reactor and that use plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel in commercial power reactors. Those efforts continue despite the fact that only three reactors are operational in Japan as of 2016, five years after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, and that the restart of additional reactors is unlikely. The authors suggest that Japan’s stockpiling thousands of kilograms of plutonium with no creditable peaceful use for it represents a threat to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in that volatile region of Northeast Asia.


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