Japan to send plutonium cache to U.S. under nuclear deal

Picture expired. Some 331 kilograms of plutonium will be sent by ship from Japan to a nuclear facility in South Carolina by the end of March AFP

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  • 5

    Moonraker

    under a 1967 policy it refuses to produce, possess or allow nuclear weapons on its soil.

    This old shibboleth continues to be repeated yet we now know, without doubt, that it is untrue. It was revealed decisively as untrue under the DPJ government. There was tacit agreement to US movements of nuclear weapons through Japanese territory from 1967 onwards, all completely known about by the Japanese government despite this tatemae policy.

  • 3

    trouble

    Japan does not posses nuclear weapons, just parts lying in close formation...

  • -1

    CoconutE3

    Should have kept the when and how to transport confidential. What happens if it falls into wrong hands??

  • 1

    Farmboy

    The material has been stored at the Nuclear Science Research Institute northeast of Tokyo

    Next to the capital city? Nice... it's very convenient I suppose.

  • -1

    therougou

    Should have kept the when and how to transport confidential. What happens if it falls into wrong hands??

    So far, this is the only thing that happens on TV that hasn't occurred in real life (yet). Real life terrorists keep proving to be even more disgusting than we can imagine, so no doubt they would love to get their hands on a nuclear weapon. I don't know if they are smart enough to make one themselves though.

  • 0

    wanderlust

    At a regular meeting of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of Japan on July 21, the AEC secretariat presented a report saying that Japan’s separated plutonium stockpile had increased by 0.7 tons to 47.8 tons as of the end of 2014, from 47.1 tons the year before (about 37 tons held in Britain and France and 10.8 tons in Japan).

    331 kg is a drop in the ocean, less than 3%. Like removing 1 bullet from a magazine that holds 30 rounds.

    Looks like this is just to appease their neighbours.

  • -4

    OssanAmerica

    As if this is a big issue when North Korea just test fired another nuclear weapon.

  • 1

    turbotsat

    Because giving up nuclear materials worked out so well for Ukraine.

  • 2

    thierryla29

    Should keep it in-country - just in case...

  • 0

    Tom Webb

    Not so sure if the Japanese government have a secret agreement for the US to build couple of nuke bombs for the SDF with this material.

  • 2

    Triring

    It was for MOX fuel research in the 70's I believe.

  • 1

    warispeace

    How much more plutonium does Japan have? Is sending the amount reported significant?

    We should also question how sending plutonium to a pro-active, trigger happy country that has used atomic bombs before can be considered part of non-proliferation efforts.

  • 1

    Vincent Maldia

    is it weapons grade or reactor grade plutonium? Normal reactors only produce reactor grade plutonium which is not used for bombs

  • 1

    Citizen2012

    Japan will send a huge cache of plutonium—enough to produce 50 nuclear bombs

    Apparently the one necessary to build 50 nuclear bombs.

  • 0

    jpntdytmrow

    Japan will send a huge cache of plutonium—enough to produce ** 50 nuclear bombs** —to the United States as part of a deal to return the material that was used for research, reports and officials said Tuesday.

    "Some 331 kilograms of the highly fissionable material will be sent by ship to
    ** a nuclear facility in South Carolina by the end of March**, Kyodo News reported Monday in a dispatch from Washington that cited unnamed Japanese government sources. "

    No one comments on THAT!?

  • -1

    Citizen2012

    It will be one of Japan’s most significant overseas movements of plutonium since it transported one tonne from France in 1993 to be used in nuclear reactor experiments.

    From the wikipedia :calculations show that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.

    So they are going to transport roughly 730 pounds this time so only deadly for not more than 1.4 billion people. What are Japanese doing with 1 tonne of Plutonium for reactor experiment ?

  • -1

    AramaTaihenNoYouDidnt

    Use for research? And North Korea testing an H-bomb? God helps us all.

  • 1

    porto

    At least they're not transporting fly ash (coal waste), which nuclear defenders on this site insisted was much much more dangerous than radioactive waste awhile ago. THAT would be truly frightening.

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