The shipment of mixed uranium-plutomium oxide – also known as MOX – fuel has been received by Japan. This event marks the first shipment for Japan after the March 2011 disaster. The shipment arrived at the Sea of Japan port of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture on June 27, 2013. The fuel took more than two months to get there from France and is scheduled to be used in reactor 3 of Kansai Electric Power Company?s (Kepco) power plant in Takahama.
For the time being, the shipment is most likely to stay in storage for a while. New standard safety measures are yet to go into effect in July 2013 and the central government has not yet approved the restart of the reactors 3 and 4, which will be sought by Kepco. The shipment has been received, but the question still remains regarding the safety standards which might be imposed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on the use of MOX fuel and whether it is safe enough or not.
The UK-registered Pacific Egret has entered Takahama on June 27, 2013 in order to deliver the cargo. However, Kepco is yet to unveil how many of the 20 MOX fuel assemblies have been ordered from the French company, known as the Areva SA.
Originally, the fuel was ordered in 2010 and was scheduled to be delivered in the summer 2011.