posted on Sep, 15 2014 @ 10:15 AM
This information from our friends at World Nuclear.org.
Japanese Waste and MOX
(Updated February 2014)
From 1969-90 there were more than 160 shipments of used nuclear reactor fuel from Japan to Europe.
Reprocessing of the Japanese used fuel has been undertaken in UK and France under contract with Japanese utilities.
Recovered fissile materials are returned to Japan as reactor fuel, notably as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.
The first shipment to Japan of immobilized high-level waste from reprocessing took place in 1995 and the 12th and last one from France was in
2007. The first one from UK was in 2010.
Nuclear power provides about one third of Japan's electricity, and with the enhanced efficiency brought about by reprocessing used fuel to recycle
the uranium and plutonium, it represents a major part of Japan's endeavours to achieve maximum self sufficiency in energy. Japan plans to have one
third of its 53 reactors using some mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel by 2010.
In February 1995 the first of 12 shipments of vitrified high-level waste (HLW) departed from France for Japan. The last was in 2007. This waste
belonged to the ten Japanese power utilities who are responsible for its safe storage and eventual disposal.
The 12 waste shipments over 12 years total 1310 canisters containing almost 700 tonnes of vitrified high-level wastes. These are packed in heavy steel
shipping casks (see section on Marine transport below).
Shipment of the vitrified high-level wastes from UK to Japan commenced early in 2010 and requires about 11 shipments over 8-10 years to move about 900
Under the Vitrified Residue Returns (VRR) program, some of this HLW will be substituting for a larger volume of intermediate-level wastes, on the
basis that a radiologically-equivalent amount of HLW can be substituted in order to minimize the volume shipped.
Both UK and Japan have legislation allowing this.
The shipments are a continuation of the established waste return program from France. The second shipment arrived in Japan in September 2011. A third
arrived in February 2013. The fourth is due in April 2014.
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