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Japan got its First MOX Nuclear Shipment since Fukushima

Jun 28, 2013 18:47 IST

MOX Nuclear Shipment portJapanese got its First MOX Nuclear Shipment port since Fukushima on 28 June 2013 which was arrived from France loaded with reprocessed nuclear fuel.The Nuclear Shipment was arrived in order to restart their atomic reactors.

MOX, (mixed oxide) is a blend of plutonium and uranium; it was arrived at the Takahama nuclear plant on the western coast of central Japan. Mixed oxide (MOX) fuel basically provides about 2% of the new nuclear fuel used today.MOX fuel is manufactured from plutonium recovered from used reactor fuel. It also provides a means of burning weapons-grade plutonium (from military sources) to produce electricity.

Uranium reactors produce a mixture of depleted uranium and plutonium as a by-product of fission. These can be re-processed into MOX fuel, which can then be used in other reactors to generate more power.

It is known fact that Japan has very less energy resources of its own and it relies on nuclear power for nearly one-third of its domestic electricity needs until the meltdowns at the tsunami-crippled plant.

It has been seen that all but two of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors are offline, closed for routine safety checks in the consequences of the disaster and never restarted because of public resistance and new standards.

Japan on the other hand has built its own nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, in northern Aomori prefecture, but its opening has been delayed by a series of minor accidents and technical problems.

As per the Government report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japan has about 44.3 tonnes of plutonium, of which 35.0 tonnes are held and being processed in France and Britain, and the rest, 9.3 tonnes is stored in Japan.

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