Reactivating a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant could provide Japan with enough plutonium to produce up to 2,000 atomic bombs a year, a US expert has warned. The “reckless” move could destabilize the region, as Japan’s neighbors rush to compete.
Henry Sokolski, executive director at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, urged the House Foreign Affairs committee to hinder the reopening of the nuclear reprocessing facility in Rokkasho, North Japan.
The plant itself was supposed to begin operations in October 2013, but its reactivation was delayed by new safety regulations. The operators of the facility, which, according to the IAEA, has an annual capacity of 800 tons of uranium, or 8 tons of plutonium, say it should be up and running by this October.