MOX Fuel Plant Formally Passes NRA Safety Screenings

Economy Society

Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Wednesday a mixed oxide, or MOX, nuclear fuel processing plant in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, has officially passed NRA screenings for the start of operations.

The NRA formalized a report stating that the plant, owned by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., meets new safety standards that Japan introduced after the 2011 triple meltdown accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The MOX fuel plant in the village of Rokkasho in Aomori is a key facility in the country’s nuclear fuel cycle, in which uranium and plutonium are extracted from spent nuclear fuel for reuse. It will produce MOX fuel from powders of uranium and plutonium extracted at a spent fuel reprocessing facility being built at the same site.

Japan Nuclear Fuel aims to complete construction of the MOX fuel plant in the first half of fiscal 2022, to coincide with the completion of the spent fuel reprocessing facility, which passed NRA safety screenings in July.

In October, the NRA approved a draft report concluding that the MOX fuel plant’s seismic design and measures to deal with a possible fire during the process to treat uranium and plutonium powders meet the new safety standards. The nuclear watchdog solicited public comments after the draft report’s approval.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press