From: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Published December 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Spent Nuclear Fuel Arrives at Japanese Reprocessing Plant

Dec. 20—AOMORI, Japan — About 31 tons of depleted uranium was delivered to a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkashomura, Aomori Prefecture, on Monday.

The uranium arrived at the village's Mutsuogawara port aboard the Hokushin Maru freighter earlier in the day from a nuclear power plant in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The radioactive material will be used from Tuesday to produce a depleted uranium solution, according to Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL), which operates the reprocessing plant currently under construction.

JNFL said it would start running tests using the solution at the reprocessing plant Tuesday.

The test run will check the performance of equipment and detect any technical faults.

The plant is the first commercial installation of its kind that can separate and extract plutonium and uranium from spent nuclear fuel. JNFL plans to start operating the plant officially in July 2006.

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© 2004, The Yomiuri Shimbun. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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