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Euro-Japanese deals

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#393
25/06/1993
Article

(July 25, 1993) In a response to the Social Democratic fraction in the German parliament, the German federal government in December 1992 answered a few questions concerning Japan and plutonium, showing links between the Japanese Pu program and, among others, the German nuclear industry, including, among other German companies, Siemens.

(393.3833) WISE Amsterdam - A demonstration reprocessing plant is planned at the site of Rokkashamura in the prefecture of Aomori, Japan. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first half of 1993, the German government stated. The plant should start operation in the year 2000.

The government also said that there are negotiations between Japanese operators, British Nuclear Fuel Limited (BNFL) and Siemens to process parts of the Pu that is being recovered from the reprocessing of Japanese spent fuel in Great Britain into MOX fuel rods in Europe (for MOX links between BNFL and Siemens, see also WISE NC 390.3800).

It is also known, said the government, that the Siemens daughter company, the Internationale Natrium-Brutreaktor-Baugesellschaft mbH (INB), has a cooperation agreement with the builders of the Japanese Monju reactor, the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) and Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC). The deal involves information exchanges concerning Monju and the SNR-300 fast breeder reactor (SNR 300 ["Schneller natriumgekühlter Reaktor 300", fast natrium-cooled reactor 300, fueled by plutonium]), and the German Kalkar reactor (which was never brought into operation). In its time, Kalkar was the most expensive nuclear project in Germany. Accidents with the sensitive natrium had already occurred even before operation was scheduled.)

Greenpeace says that with all these Pu deals, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is being further undermined. In particular, Japan is accumulating huge amounts of the radioactive material, the organization warned. Greenpeace is demanding that the NPT, which will be revised in 1995, should be extended to add the prohibition of Pu deals.

Source: Strahlentelex (FRG), 3 Jun.93.
Contact: Greenpeace International, Keizersgracht 176, 1016 DW Amsterdam; tel: + 3 1-20-523 6555.