Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/13045
Title: Plutonium and Japan: two discussion papers. The balance of plutonium supply and demand in Japan. The shipment of plutonium to Japan.
Authors: McMillan, MJ
Silver, JM
Keywords: Plutonium
Japan
Nuclear power
Spent fuels
Uranium
Energy
Security
Fissile materials
Nuclear materials management
Transport
Irradiation
Issue Date: Jun-1992
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Citation: McMillan, M. J., & Silver, J. M. (1992). Plutonium and Japan: two discussion papers. The balance of plutonium supply and demand in Japan. The shipment of plutonium to Japan. Lucas Heights, NSW: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.
Abstract: Japan lacks indigenous energy resources and has chosen nuclear power as a means of achieving the energy security and diversity essential to economic growth. The reprocessing of spent fuel and recycling of the nuclear materials have been part of Japan’s nuclear policy since the 1950s. The plutonium and uranium recovered from spent fuels are regarded as pseudo-domestic energy resources. To achieve the least dependence on overseas resources for nuclear power, particular importance is placed on reprocessing and fuel fabrication within Japan. Japan s current nuclear fuel recycling plan, approved by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in August 1991, predicts that, by the year 2010, Japan’s total fissile plutonium supply will be about 85 tonnes. Fifty five tonnes are to be recovered from domestic reprocessing (5 tonnes from the Tokai reprocessing plant and 50 tonnes from the Rokkasho commercial reprocessing plant) while 30 tonnes are to return from Britain and France. It foresees this being in balance with planned consumption in Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) of "22-35 tonnes, Advanced Thermal Reactors (ATRs) ~8 tonnes and Light Water Reactors (LWRs) "50 tonnes. This latest plutonium plan places an increased importance on the utilisation of mixed uranium-plutonium (MOX) fuel in LWRs. Table l summarises Japan’s anticipated cumulative plutonium supply and demand. The important variables in achieving or modifying this balance will be the timing and output of the Rokkasho plant, the number and type of fast reactors and the pace at which the planned program of LWR MOX recycling is implemented. Different sources use various quantities in discussing plutonium stocks, usually either total plutonium (i.e. the mass of all the isotopes present) or fissile plutonium (Puf) (i.e. the mass of only the fissionable isotopes) plutonium 239 and plutonium 241. As the later is the term used by Japanese sources, it has been adopted, where possible, here. The mixture of plutonium isotopes in the plutonium recovered from spent fuel reprocessing depends on the isotopic composition of the initial fuel, the reactor design and operating conditions and the length of time for which the fuel has been irradiated. The fissile isotopes, plutonium 239 and plutonium 241, make up approximately 70% of total plutonium recovered from spent fuel irradiated to usual burnups in an LWR.
URI: https://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/13045
Appears in Collections:Scientific and Technical Reports

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