Japans Atomic Energy Commission released new estimates of the cost of reprocessing current stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel generated from the nuclear power plants this week. As of September 2011, Japan claimed nearly 14,200 tons of spent fuel being stored onsite at Japan’s 54 reactors.
The newly released estimates included a 5 trillion yen price tag just to cover decommissioning estimates for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, which could easily rise to two or three times the estimated cost by the year 2020.
The subcommittee estimated that the cost to bury the nuclear waste in the ground was expected to be nearly 2.8 trillion yen to 4.7 trillion yen less expensive as any alternative which involved reprocessing.
In the end however, the JAEC subcommittee recommended a “concurrent” method consisting of partial reprocessing and partly burying the spent nuclear fuel as long as nuclear power plants remain in operation.
In Japan a large portion of the public is becoming more entrenched against government and industry officials who remain firmly rooted in favor of reprocessing facilities.
Recent investigations by the National Security News Service has learned that the country has used its electrical utility companies as a cover to allow the country to amass enough nuclear weapons materials to build a nuclear arsenal larger than China, India and Pakistan combined.
The JAEC has been defending itself against recent accusations of possible conflicts of interest following the leaking of documents showing hundreds of millions of yen in donations made to the Agency from the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, and 11 other companies within the nations’ nuclear industry.
The JAEC did later admit that other manufacturers of nuclear power plants and related companies were also contributors, but said that “the donations were to support research and development activities and personnel training.”
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