A Chinese study conducted by China Arms Control and Disarmament Association and China Institute of Nuclear Information and Economics says that there is an imbalance between Japan’s supply and demand in stockpiled nuclear materials triggering safety concerns that could affect the world. “The fact that Japan accumulates more and more weapon-grade fissile materials, especially separated plutonium, will put Japan, and its neighboring countries and the whole world at risk,” the Chinese study said as quoted by Chinese state media Xinhua.
The study added that the problem could become worse and may lead to a vicious cycle with the Rokkasho reprocessing plant starting operation next year. “Once the Rokkasho reprocessing plant under construction starts its operation, Japan could obtain the ability of producing eight tonnes of separated plutonium annually.”
“Japan does not need that much enriched uranium for producing nuclear energy. So we are suspicious for any ulterior motives by the Japanese government to invest such a large amount of money in that,” senior consultant affiliated with the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association Zhu Xuhui said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, reacting to the Chinese report October 9, “Japan has been storing a large amount of sensitive nuclear materials for a long time. The acute imbalance between supply and demand leads to risks of nuclear proliferation and poses threat to nuclear security.”
“The key is for Japan to show sincerity and responsibility, and take concrete actions to address the concerns of the international community,” she added.