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Agency for Natural Resources and EnergyCabinet Approved the Amendment Bill to the Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Implementation Act

The Government of Japan (Cabinet) decided to approve the amendment bill to the “Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Implementation Act”.
This bill is to be submitted to the 190th ordinary Diet session, and will stipulate necessary measures for electric power utilities to conduct nuclear reprocessing projects appropriately and efficiently.

1. Purpose of the Bill

The basic policy of Japan is to promote nuclear reprocessing and to make use of retrieved plutonium in this process (“Strategic Energy Plan”, approved by the Cabinet in April 2014). Along with this policy, electric power utilities have been jointly conducting nuclear reprocessing projects, and also have deposited necessary funds in their own right to cover reprocessing costs under the existing Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing  Implementation Act.

However, the business environment for the power industry is likely to change due to growing market competition along with electricity market reforms, which will start in April 2016. Such changes may exert negative impacts on the financial conditions of electric power utilities, and consequently, bring both uncertainty in collecting funds and difficulties for electric power utilities to mutually cooperate in conducting nuclear reprocessing projects.

In order to address these risks under such new business environment, the Cabinet decided to approve the amendment bill to the “Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Implementation Act”, which establishes secured funds for expenses for the steady and efficient reprocessing operations of spent nuclear fuel.

2. Outline of the Bill

The key measures stipulated in this Bill are to:

  1. Create a new funding system

    Related measures are to establish newly secured funds for nuclear reprocessing projects, and obligate electric power utilities to make annual payments to the fund. The fund is independent from individual electric power companies.

  2. Organize an implementing body

    Along with establishing a secure funding system, related measures are to organize a new implementing body, which will develop a master plan of overall nuclear reprocessing projects, and collect the expenses paid by electric power utilities.

  3. Establish an appropriate governance system

    By setting up a management committee that consists of experts for the decision-making process, related measures are to improve the transparency of the newly established organization and nuclear reprocessing projects.

Release date

February 5, 2016

Division in charge

  • Nuclear Energy Policy Planning Division, Electricity and Gas Industry Department
  • Nuclear Facilities Development and Nuclear Fuel Cycle Industry Division, Electricity and Gas Industry Department

Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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