First nuclear fuel since Fukushima disaster arrives in Japan

June 27, 2013 at 3:24 PM

TOKYO, June 27 (UPI) -- Japan's first shipment of nuclear fuel since the Fukushima crisis of March 2011 arrived early Thursday at the Sea of Japan port of Takahama, officials said.

The mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel, intended for reactor number 3 at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear plant, is likely to remain in storage for the time being, The Japan Times reported.

Japan's government has yet to approve either the restart of reactors 3 and 4, requested by Kepco under new safety standards, or the use of the MOX fuel in reactor 3.

The fuel shipment, ordered in 2010 and scheduled to have been delivered by summer 2011, but was put on hold after the earthquake and tsunami disaster that crippled the Fukushima facility.

The arrival of the shipment in Japan was greeted by anti-nuclear protesters.

"Kepco does not have permission to restart the Takahama plant," Aileen Mioko Smith of the group Green Action said. "On top of that, there is no post-Fukushima accident regulatory standard for MOX fuel."

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