Tokyo: Japan plans to start taking back its reprocessed nuclear waste from France as early as April as the resource-poor country looks to start using the fuel for the first time, a report said on Monday.
Three power companies in the southern Kyushu and Shikoku regions and central Chubu plan to use the mixed oxide (Mox) fuel made up of plutonium and reprocessed uranium, Kyodo News reported in an unsourced report.
The power companies are to use the fuel, reprocessed in France using spent nuclear fuel from Japanese reactors, at their light-water reactors.
Japan, which relies on nuclear power plants for nearly one-third of its power demands, has built its own reprocessing plant in northern Aomori prefecture, which is expected to begin operating soon.
A series of minor accidents and strong local objections have delayed the programme’s start.
It would take around two months to transport the fuel from France to Japan using three possible routes - via the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn or the Panama Canal, Kyodo said.