Third Japanese reactor to load MOX

10 August 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.