Full power for Japan's first MOX burner

03 December 2009

Japan's first ever nuclear power reactor to use mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies is now operating at full capacity, fuel supplier Areva has announced. Kyushu's Genkai 3 was loaded with the fuel fabricated from uranium and the plutonium recovered from previously used nuclear fuel in October. It was restarted in early November, gradually increasing output until normal operation was achieved on 2 December. Recycling of plutonium in MOX is to play a key role in Japan's future nuclear fuel cycle, and two other utilities - Shikoku Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co – plan to introduce MOX fuel into their reactors in or after 2010. Areva's executive vice president of recycling, Jean-Pierre Gros, said the company was "proud to contribute to provide electricity to Japanese citizens for the first time through recyclable fuel MOX which demonstrates its safe, reliable and sustainable energy."