On June 12, the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) worked out a proposal that power utilities nationwide cooperate with one another in consuming plutonium produced from reprocessing spent fuel from nuclear power plants. The proposal is aimed at having plutonium stockpiles owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and others be consumed at nuclear reactors located in the western part of the country, as the restart of their offline reactors is delayed.
The JAEC oversees about 47 tons of plutonium that Japan possesses both at home and abroad. Chairman Yoshiaki Oka noted at the meeting held on the day that “power companies need to cooperate with one another beyond their responsibilities.” By the end of the month, the JAEC plans to come up with a policy not to produce plutonium that cannot be consumed. The latest proposal urges the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and power utilities to come up with their own ways to cut back their plutonium stockpiles. (Abridged)