From: Associated Press
Published February 18, 2005 12:00 AM

Tenth Shipment of Reprocessed Japanese Nuclear Waste Heading Home

CHERBOURG, France — Reprocessed nuclear waste headed for Japan was loaded aboard a ship Thursday for the nearly two-month journey home, France's state-run reprocessing plant said.


The "Pacific Sandpiper" was loaded with 124 containers of highly radioactive waste which was reprocessed at the Cogema plant at nearby La Hague.


Trucks traveling under tight security delivered the containers, bound in five packages, to this western port.


Details of the sea route were not divulged. The cargo -- the tenth such shipment to Japan -- is to leave on Thursday night and arrive in Japan in April.


Japanese electricity companies are under contract with Cogema to reprocess the waste from plants in Japan.


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The waste is routinely sent on ships to Britain and France for vitrification, a process by which it is packed into glass, then returned home.


Environmental groups, as well as some Pacific and Caribbean states, have said the shipments pose a potential threat.


The first such shipment was in 1995.


Source: Associated Press


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