Japan’s 11 electric power utilities expect to use mixed oxide (MOX) fuel containing about six tonnes of fissile plutonium (in about nine tonnes of reactor grade Pu) each year, once they are in full operation with this from about 2012.
This corresponds to about 120 tonnes of MOX fuel. The utilities hold 13.8 tonnes of fissile plutonium stored in France and 11.4 t in UK, to which will be added about 3.2 t produced through the new Rokkasho reprocessing plant which is due to enter commercial operation later in the year.
The associated 130 t/yr J-MOX fuel fabrication plant is due to start up in 2012. Meanwhile, MOX fuel for Japan is being fabricated at Areva’s Melox plant in France.