Nuclear waste shipment to arrive in Japan on Feb 20
TOKYO - A controversial shipment of nuclear waste that is returning to Japan after being reprocessed in France will arrive in Aomori prefecture, northern Japan, on February 20, industry officials said on Tuesday.
The waste was reprocessed by Frances Cogema, the worlds leading nuclear fuel reprocessor, and is being shipped back in 192 containers aboard the Pacific Swan, a ship owned by a unit of British Nuclear Fuels.
Loaded with the sixth such shipment of reprocessed nuclear waste to be returned to Japan, the Pacific Swan will dock at the northern port of Rokkasho, the Federation of Electric Power Companies said in a statement.
Toxic waste from Japanese nuclear reactors is shipped to European reprocessing plants and later returned to Japan as fuel - along with the waste that results from the reprocessing.
The shipments have sparked outrage from anti-nuclear activists. Earlier this month, the Chilean Navy dispatched a ship and several airplanes to monitor the Pacific Swan as it passed through its waters amid protests by environmental groups and Chilean legislators. Japan is also due to receive a shipment of MOX fuel - a blend of uranium and plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel - in late March.
The specific arrival date for the MOX shipment, which is bound for Tokyo Electric Power Co Incs (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, has not been disclosed yet.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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