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Japan's $25 Billion Nuclear Recycling Quest Enters 28th Year

  • Start of Rokkasho fuel reprocessing facility delayed to 2018
  • Government sees Rokkasho reducing imports and nuclear waste

It’s designed to recycle spent uranium from Japan’s nuclear power plants, consists of more than three dozen buildings spread over 740 hectares (1,829 acres), costs almost $25 billion and has been under construction for nearly three decades. Amount of fuel successfully reprocessed for commercial use: zero.

Under construction since the late 1980s, the complex is designed to turn nuclear waste into fuel by separating out plutonium and usable uranium. The start date of the project has now been pushed back for the 23rd time, with operations set to commence in 2018.