- Blown Fukushima 3 Was The Third Japanese Reactor To Load
- August 10, 2010
- Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco's) Fukushima I
unit 3 is set to become the third Japanese nuclear reactor to load mixed
oxide (MOX) fuel after receiving approval from the governor of Fukushima
Prefecture, Yukei Sato. The unit follows Kyushu Electric's Genkai
3, which started using MOX fuel in November 2009, and Shikoku's Ikata 3,
which was loaded with some MOX fuel in March 2010. According to the Denki
Shimbun, the 760 MWe boiling water reactor will be loaded with MOX fuel
by 21 August and the unit will restart in late September. Japan's Nuclear
and Industrial Safety Agency has so far approved the use of MOX fuel in
ten reactors, but utilities must also secure approval from prefectural
governments before they can go ahead and use the fuel, which contains plutonium
recovered from spent nuclear fuel.
- MOX Fuel Arrives In Japan
- Kyodo News
- May 19, 2009
- Two cargo ships carrying recycled nuclear fuel arrived
Monday in Japan from France for the planned introduction of plutonium-thermal
power generation in the fall, power company officials said.
- One of the two armed ships entered a port near Chubu
Electric Power Co.'s Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka
Prefecture, the first stop for the delivery of plutonium and uranium mixed
oxide, or MOX, fuel.
- The ships will also deliver the fuel, a combination of
uranium and plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel, to Kyushu Electric
Power Co.'s Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture and Shikoku Electric
Power Co.'s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture.
- The fuel was manufactured in France on an order placed
by the three utilities and will be used in conventional uranium-burning
- The Pacific Pintail and Pacific Heron left the northern
French port of Cherbourg in early March and reached Japan after sailing
through the southwestern Pacific via the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
- The Pacific Heron was escorted by Japan Coast Guard ships
and helicopters as it entered the port of Omaezaki.
- Antinuclear groups staged demonstrations against the
pluthermal power generation plan, shouting, "No transport of dangerous
MOX fuel." Pluthermal is a Japanese word combining the English words
plutonium and thermal.
- Critics point to the potential dangers of MOX fuel,
warning that use of fuel containing plutonium exposes residents to greater
health risks in the event of serious accidents.
- Kyushu Electric plans to put MOX fuel into the No. 3
reactor of the Genkai plant at the time of the next regular inspection
- Japan's Nuclear Program
- What is MOX fuel?
- Fuel consisting of a mixture of uranium and plutonium
oxides is referred to as a MOX (mixed oxide) fuel. Uranium fuel consists
of enriched uranium in which the concentration of uranium 235 -- the combustible
element in natural uranium -- is artificially increased. In MOX fuel, by
contrast, anything from 4 to 9 percent plutonium is used in place of enriched
uranium to mix with natural uranium or with the uranium that is left after
enrichment (i.e., depleted uranium).
- Japan's MOX Program
- Part of Japan's nuclear policy is to implement the MOX
utilization program; that is, to irradiate MOX fuel in conventional light
water reactors (LWRs). Because of the fact that discussions are still under
way with the local governments and citizens, the commercial use of MOX
fuel has yet to begin. Nevertheless, as mentioned at the outset, Japan,
scarce in energy resources, is continuing its policy of establishing a
nuclear fuel cycle. MOX utilization, therefore, remains a crucial part
of completing the fuel cycle. The Japanese electricity industry intends
to continue its efforts to garner support and understanding from related
parties in order to carry out the MOX utilization program in accordance
with this policy.