With today’s restart of the Takahama 3 reactor in Fukui Prefecture, Greenpeace revealed that the nuclear operator Kansai Electric and the French nuclear company AREVA are planning a secret plutonium fuel shipment from France to the Takahama plant. Plutonium fuel (MOX) reduces the safety of the reactor, increasing both the risk of a severe accident and its radiological consequences. The shipment is scheduled to depart Cherbourg France on 7 July. This also presents serious security issues, both as it is a potential terrorist target and that the plutonium in the MOX fuel is direct use nuclear weapons material. Due to these risks, the U.S. State Department and other agencies are required to approve the security plan for plutonium shipments to Japan under the terms of the US – Japan Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement of 1988. The Trump administration has approved this shipment, despite the increasingly unstable conditions in the region.
Greenpeace 6th June 2017 read more »
[Machine Translation] A fifth nuclear reactor was relaunched Tuesday in Japan, the operator said, a model that partly runs on recycled Mox fuel, which is expected to be shipped to Japan soon, according to Greenpeace.”The reactor was relaunched at 1400 hours (0500 GMT),” a spokesman for Kansai Electric Power (Kepco) told AFP. This restart takes place less than one month after that of the contiguous unit Takahama 4 in southwestern Japan. The chain reaction will only start several hours later and supply electricity on the network not before several weeks. Takahama 3, 350 km west of Tokyo, will only be the 5th reactor in operation in Japan (including 3 partly loaded with Mox), on a fleet of 42 units compared to 54 before the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Romandie 6th June 2017 read more »