June 25th, 2013
The Mainichi has uncovered secret government documents that prove the US and deputy DOE secretary Danial Poneman put intense pressure on Japan to continue the plutonium fuel MOX program in Japan. The documents clearly show the US is pressuring Japan to continue with the MOX fuel cycle program, something the US has failed to do themselves. The US has claimed the concern to be that the plutonium would be diverted to military use. Japan has a massive amount of spent nuclear fuel, more than they could ever realistically use through reprocessing into MOX. The US stance also ignores the prospect of vitrification, a technology that encases the material in a glass substance rendering it unusable for weapons.
The US is still struggling to create an operating vitrification plant at the Hanford nuclear site but France has two functioning vitrification plants.