Comment on:
British Nuclear Fuels plc Sellafield Mixed Oxide Plant:

Dear Madam or Sir:

As a citizen living in Japan and also on behalf of the Mihama-no-Kai (Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants), I would like to express our opinion about the MOX fabrication in UK. In 1999, our organization independently analyzed the BNFL quality control data for Takahama Unit4 MOX fuel and we found the falsification. Now in Japan, the public opinion about MOX use is dramatically changing. Our organization strongly opposes to the use of MOX fuel and the operation of Sellafield MOX plant (SMP).

Therefore we can recommend you not to permit the license for the operation of SMP, because such a decision would ruin or hurt the benefit of UK including BNFL.

Please keep in your mind that BNFL has little probability to obtain the contract for SMP from Japanese electric power companies.

As you know, on December 16th 1999 KEPCO, that had been the first runner of MOX in Japan, changed the course and determined the no-use of the Takahama Unit4 MOX fuel that had falsified quality control data.

Since before this decision, we have got a lot of opportunities to meet and discuss with the members of the Kansai Electric Power Company, KEPCO, about MOX. Recently the officers, Mr. Takeshi Oomori and Mr. Teruo Komatsu, told us that the company has never negotiated about future MOX contracts with BNFL.

They also said that the company would not start the negotiation with BNFL about the order for SMP, unless they have obtained the agreement of the Japanese government, the governor of Fukui prefecture where the Takahama plant is sited, and the Japanese public. We can give you important information about the public opinion on the utilization of MOX. It is changing significantly and drastically in this moment. The majority of Japanese people come to understand that the MOX can not solve the energy supply problem in Japan. They also begin to express their opinion now.

On February 26th 2001, Mr. Eisaku Sato, the governor of the Fukushima prefecture, announced his disagreement to load MOX fuel in the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. He also insisted the re-consideration about the nuclear fuel reprocessing policy including the MOX utilization to Japanese government and electric power companies. This is a reflection of the Japanese public opinion.

On the coming 27th May, a referendum will take place in Kariwa village,on the use of MOX fuel in the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata prefecture of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO. It will be the highlight and the turning point of the MOX use in Japan. As you know TEPCO is the largest electric power company in Japan. Even the largest company cannot decide the use of MOX by itself. You should pay attention not to what the companies say but to what the people say.

We in Japan widely believe that the majority of Kariwa residents will express the disagreement in the referendum on MOX. The result would sound whole world as the death-knell for the use of MOX in Japan. After the referendum we will say farewell to the MOX.

If you permit the license for the operation of SMP, the British government which owns BNFL would lose more than 4.6 billion pounds. We believe and expect your wise determination.

Thank you for reading this.

Yours sincerely,

Hideyuki Koyama
(Osaka Citizens Against the Mihama, Oi and Takahama Nuclear Power Plants)