Japan begins second removal of spent MOX fuel from nuclear reactor
Japan Times -- Jan 28
Operations have begun to remove a rare type of spent fuel made of plutonium-uranium mixed oxide from a nuclear reactor in central Japan, operator Kansai Electric Power Co. said Monday.

The removal of MOX fuel rods from the No. 3 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture is the second such operation to be performed in Japan, following a removal at the Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime Prefecture earlier this month.

By Wednesday, Kansai Electric plans to remove eight of 28 MOX fuel rods that had been in use at the reactor since December 2010, the firm said.

The eight MOX fuel rods will be replaced with uranium fuel.

The Osaka-based company said it also plans to remove 73 uranium fuel rods at the reactor, which is now undergoing regular maintenance.

Tepco estimates 44 years to decommission Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant

Kansai Electric said it will store the spent MOX fuel rods temporarily in a cooling pool at the plant, as Japan has no reprocessing facilities for them despite government and power companies’ plans to reuse the plutonium extracted when the spent mox fuel is reprocessed.

The MOX fuel, which is made of plutonium and uranium extracted when spent fuel is reprocessed, was first used at a Japanese nuclear plant in 2009.

News source: Japan Times
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