The latter half of 2013 will be critical for Japan’s nuclear future. Two years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan’s nuclear policy remains in flux while all but two of its power reactors remain shutdown. The upper house elections and the release of new safety standards for nuclear power plants, both set for July, should bring some clarity. But, critical questions will remain. More importantly, Japan aims to restart commercial reprocessing in October, but has failed to articulate what it intends to do with its growing stockpile of plutonium.

Charles Ferguson and Tomoko Kurokawa discussed the major challenges facing Japan’s nuclear policy in the next six months. James M. Acton moderated.