RealClimate: Forced Responses: July 2021


you give a real world example of numerous reactors that were run to maximize weapons grade plutonium in Japan.

You ignore that this has a number of prerequisites:

1.  It requires that the reactors had been freshly refueled.  This may or may not be the case, as Japan requires that reactors be shut down annually for inspection rather than at normal (for the technology) refueling intervals.  (A year of operation is far too long for WGPu production.)  If the reactors were restarted with the fuel they had when they were shut down, this obviously did not happen.

2.  It would further require that they be refueled AGAIN during the second shutdown.  This requires that the fuel, and the workers to do the refueling, be on-hand.

The beehive of activity during refueling can be easily observed.  I have no way to know if anything of the sort happened, I just know that the Japanese are clever enough to do it if they wanted to.  Even if they did, it was a one-time thing.

It seems we agree that weapons grade plutonium can be made in normal power reactors.

If you have some very, very special circumstances which are present at no other place and time.

Any other country attempting this would be cut off from fuel supplies by IAEA sanctions, as India was for decades.

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