In a significant development that could have positive bearing on proposed Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal, Tokyo is likely to change its policy to allow reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from Japanese-made reactors.
In what could be a major shift in Japan’s nuclear non-proliferation strategy, Tokyo for the first time has approved reprocessing of nuclear fuel by a country using Japanese-made reactors, official sources said from Tokyo.Since the 2011 Fukushima tragedy, Japan had concluded civil pacts with six countries including Jordan, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam, but has not approved reprocessing of spent fuel generated by Japanese-made nuclear reactors.
Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal has remained elusive despite several rounds of negotiations since 2010 and Narendra Modi’s maiden trip to Japan as PM last year and his personal chemistry with his counterpart Shinzo Abe.
Bilateral negotiations, re-launched post Fukushima last September, got momentum after Modi became the PM with Japan as one of his foreign policy priorities. Japan has been consistent on its position on India’s non-NPT status and tougher safeguards on reprocessing of spent fuel supplied to Indian reactors. Indian position has also been clear as it considers NPT as discriminatory, official sources said, adding India has signed nuclear deals with NPT signatories like USA, Canada and Australia.