TOKYO, May 24 (UPI) -- A second shipment of controversial mixed uranium-plutonium oxide nuclear fuel has arrived in Japan amid tight security, officials say.
The MOX shipment arrived early Saturday at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai No. 3 reactor in northern Saga Prefecture on a ship escorted by a small flotilla of Japan Coast Guard vessels, The Japan Times reported.
The arrival of the fuel was accompanied by about 75 anti-nuclear protesters from around Japan who had reportedly gathered in front of the plant's main entrance. The demonstrators called for an end to the MOX program, citing what they say are its safety and environmental drawbacks -- especially concerns over how to dispose of the mixed uranium-plutonium waste.
The Tokyo non-profit Citizens' Nuclear Information Center estimated the ship bringing Saturday's MOX shipment, the Pacific Heron, and its sister ship, the Pacific Pintail, were likely carrying about 1.7 tons of plutonium, some of which was to be unloaded at Genkai.
An earlier shipment had delivered MOX to another nuclear power plant, Chubu Electric's Hamaoka No. 4 reactor in Shizuoka Prefecture, the Times said.