JAPAN | Kan hints at reviewing Japan’s nuclear fuel recycle policy

Posted on July 20, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 20 July 2011

Japanese Prime Minister Nato Kan speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Wednesday referred to the possibility of reviewing the country’s nuclear fuel recycling policy, casting a cloud over the future of Japan’s Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor.

“We should hold discussions without making any prejudgment on whether we will proceed with the existing plan or review it,” Kan told a House of Representatives Budget Committee session.

“I would like to begin full-fledged discussions on this since it is linked to our basic energy policy,” Kan said.

The premier made his remark when asked by an opposition lawmaker if the government intends to halt the policy which includes the development of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor, after he recently said the country should gradually reduce its reliance on nuclear power.

The reactor is key to the state’s nuclear fuel cycle policy using plutonium extracted through reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has compelled the government to launch a review of the nation’s basic energy policy.

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Posted in: JAPAN