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Japan's Plutonium Inventory for 2003

The government has provided information in various forms about Japan's plutonium inventory for 2003. By following the links below readers should get the general picture, though the figures are not always easy to interpret. The calendar year figures are the government's own figures. The business year figures were provided to the government by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan. The expected future production and use of plutonium was also provided to the government by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.

Data for the 2003 calendar year. This shows holdings of separated plutonium as at 31 December 2003. (NIT 103, Nov/Dec 2004) The table shows figures since 1996.

Data for the 2003 business year (all plutonium) (ending 31 March 2004). This shows the total plutonium produced and extracted to 31 March 2004. (NIT 102 Sep/Oct 2004)

Data for the 2003 business year (fissile plutonium). This shows only fissile plutonium (defined as Plutonium 239 and Plutonium 241) extracted to 31 March 2004 (based on response to Diet Question)

Expected future fissile plutonium production and use (based on response to Diet Question)


Data on Japan fissile plutonium - amount produced and extracted to 31 March 2004
('Fissile plutonium' defined as Plutonium 239 and Plutonium 241)
(Based on 6 July 2004 response to Diet Question by Hidekatsu Yoshii)

Spent Fuel (tons heavy metal) Fissile Plutonium (tons)
Total produced [Not shown in the data, but by adding the amount sent overseas and the amount not sent overseas we can deduce a total of 19,100 tHM.] containing 108 tons
Amount not sent overseas for reprocessing 12,000 tHM containing 71 tons
Amount reprocessed in Japan 5 tons extracted at Tokai
Amount sent overseas for reprocessing 7,100 tHM
Amount already reprocessed overseas 6,800 tHM 27 tons1 extracted overseas
Amount remaining to be reprocessed overseas 300 tHM containing 5 tons1 to be extracted in future
Total already extracted 32 tons
Amount already consumed 3 tons

Comments:
1. The government explains the low amount of plutonium already extracted (compared to the amount of spent fuel already reprocessed), and the very high amount of plutonium remaining to be extracted, in terms of the manner in which the extracted plutonium is allocated between various customers. The UK reprocessing company, BNFL, reprocesses spent fuel belonging to several customers all together. It allocates the extracted plutonium to these customers, regardless of whether their spent fuel has actually been reprocessed. Until all the spent fuel has been reprocessed, there is likely to be a mismatch between the quantity of reprocessed spent fuel and the allocated plutonium.


Expected future fissile plutonium production and use
('Fissile plutonium' defined as Plutonium 239 and Plutonium 241)
(Based on 6 July 2004 response to Diet Question by Hidekatsu Yoshii)

Spent Fuel Fissile Plutonium
Amount to be produced per year in future 900-1,000 t HM for the time being, increasing to 1,200-1,300 tHM Depends on fuel assembly type etc.
Amount to be extracted in future Extract slightly less than 5 tons per year when Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant is fully operational
Amount to be consumed in future 5-8 tons per year if the power companies meet their plan to run pluthermal in 16-18 reactors by 2010. A few hundred kilograms per year in Monju, if it is restarted. (Note that the first of these targets will definitely not be achieved, while the second depends on whether Monju becomes operational again after being cleared by the Supreme Court on 30 May 2005.)



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