The situation in Japan is more complicated. No one in Japan looks forward with pleasure to the return of the plutonium and nuclear wastes extracted by Thorp. The Japanese government would be especially relieved to escape the political troubles that the transport and stockpiling of plutonium are bringing it. There are nevertheless worries in some quarters that the cancellation of Thorp could spell trouble for Japan's plans to build its own reprocessing plant at Rokkasho-mura.
However, the German and Japanese customers would indeed be furious if Thorp was cancelled and the British government insisted on the immediate return of the spent fuel already delivered to Sellafield. There is a deal to be done: Germany and Japan would not press their claims for repayment of the money they have invested in Thorp, while Britain would continue storing the spent fuels at Sellafield for at least 10 years subject to its eventual return.
Science Policy Research Unit
29 JuneReuse content