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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 18 - 24  > Under Abe gov’t, spent nuclear fuel storage approaches capacity limit
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2017 October 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Under Abe gov’t, spent nuclear fuel storage approaches capacity limit

October 19, 2017
In the last five years under the Abe government, offline nuclear reactors resumed operations one after another, producing 120 tons of spent nuclear fuel, Akahata reported on October 19. The amount of such fuel stored in Japan now stands at 14,870 tons, more than 70% of total storage capacity.

The reactivated reactors are two reactors each at Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyuden)’s Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (Kagoshima Prefecture) and Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO)’s Takahama NPP (Fukui Prefecture) and one at Shikoku Electric Power Company’s Ikata NPP (Ehime Prefecture). The Sendai NPP generated 40 tons of spent nuclear fuel, Takahama produced 60 tons, and Ikata 20 tons.

In line with the Abe government’s pro-nuclear energy policy, Kyuden plans to put two reactors at its Genkai NPP (Saga Prefecture) back online. KEPCO seeks to restart two reactors at Oi NPP (Fukui Prefecture), one at Mihama NPP (Fukui Prefecture), and two at Takahama NPP.

Reactivation of these reactors will accelerate the accumulation of spent nuclear fuel. The government plans to dispose of the highly radioactive spent fuel by processing and transforming it into a solid material and by burying it deep underground. However, the government has yet to even find a candidate site for spent fuel disposal.

Past related articles:
> Amount of Japan’s plutonium stockpile keeps increasing [February 6, 2016]
> Abe gov’t restarts nuclear reactors with no plan to dispose of ‘deadly ashes’ [October 30, 2015]
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