Areva has signed a contract to supply Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel for Japan’s new Ohma nuclear power plant located in the Aomori prefecture and operated by the Japanese utility Electric Power Development.
MOX fuel is an alternative to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel used in the light water reactors that predominate nuclear power generation.
Under the terms of the contract, the fuel will be fabricated at Areva’s Melox plant in southern France, using Japanese plutonium recovered from the treatment operations performed at Areva’s La Hague plant, thereby recycling it to be used in Japan as MOX fuel.
The Ohma nuclear power plant is scheduled to start operation in 2014.
The contract comes as part of Japan’s nuclear programme to recycle used fuel, and follows contracts Areva signed in 2006 and 2008 with Japanese utilities Chubu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Kansai.
With 1,426 tons produced to date, Melox plant is the world’s leading producer of MOX fuel.