Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Japanese Plant Begins Use of MOX Fuel

A Japanese power company yesterday began operating an Okuma-based nuclear power reactor using fuel converted from weapon-capable plutonium, Kyodo News reported (see GSN, April 9).
Tokyo Electric Power Co. is expected in around five days to start running the mixed-oxide nuclear fuel reactor at full capacity. A government inspection of the reactor slated for Oct. 26 would precede its use for commercial power production, according to the firm.
The reactor was the third in Japan to begin using MOX fuel; the other two reactors are located in the towns of Genkai and Ikata (Kyodo News, Japan Times, Sept. 24).
News photo
Online: The No. 3 reactor (second from left) at Tepco's Fukushima nuclear power plant was started up Thursday. KYODO PHOTO

Tepco starts power output with MOX fuel

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) Power generation using plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel started at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Thursday morning, the utility said.
The No. 3 reactor at the plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, is the third in Japan for MOX fuel power generation, known as "pluthermal," with the others at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture and Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture.
Tepco will boost the reactor's power output to nearly 100 percent in about five days. It will then launch commercial operations after a final government inspection on Oct. 26, it said.
Pluthermal, a Japanese word that combines "plutonium" and "thermal," involves the use of MOX fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium reprocessed from spent uranium, to produce electricity.
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