Subject: [cwj 155] Japan deals fresh blow to nuclear fuel plant
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 15:03:41 -0700
Seq: 155

Japan deals fresh blow to nuclear fuel plant
Financial Times

By Matthew Jones in London and Ken Hijino in Tokyo
Published: June 1 2001 19:29GMT | Last Updated: June 3 2001 19:50GMT

Plans to open a =A3460m ($653m) plant to manufacture
controversial recycled nuclear fuel in north-west England
suffered another blow on Friday after Japan's largest
electricity utility agreed to postpone the loading of
recycled nuclear fuel at its plant in northern Japan.=20

The Sellafield plant, owned by British Nuclear Fuels, the
UK atomic services group, was largely completed five
years ago but will not receive clearance from the British
government to start operations until its economic case has been proven.
some 40 per cent of its capacity has been contracted or reserved by
customers in
Europe, its most important client is Japan.=20

The decision by Tokyo Electric Power Company, made after a meeting with=
government officials, follows a referendum in the village of Kariwa last
week in
which more than half of the population, which depends heavily on the power
for jobs, voted against the use of controversial mixed oxide fuel, known as

Public opinion in Japan has hardened against the use of Mox, which combines
plutonium recycled from spent fuel with uranium, since BNFL admitted in
September 1999 to falsifying quality control records for Mox shipped to=
Electric Power Company.=20

Greenpeace, the environmental presure group, said Tepco's decision was a
further step towards ending the use of the fuel and preventing BNFL's plant
being opened.=20

"There is a genuine sense now that Mox use is way off in Japan and that
there are
no prospects for future Mox reactors," it said.=20

A report commissioned by Greenpeace and submitted to the British government
this month as part of a public consultation process warned that the
economics of
the UK plant had worsened because of developments in Japan and an estimated
30 per cent increase in costs.=20

BNFL said it was following progress in Japan closely and was still hopeful=
securing contracts.=20

"This referendum was not legally binding but its interpretation is a matter
for local
and national government in Japan," said an official.=20

Ikuo Hirayama, governor of Niigata prefecture, on Friday called on Tepco to
the use of Mox after earlier meeting with the mayors of Kariwa and=

Nobuya Minami, Tepco's president, said the group would respect the request.
"The time has come for us to pause," he said. "The opposition [to Mox] is
also a
criticism of Tepco's everyday activities."=20

He added, however, that the company should strive to improve residents'
understanding and win their support in order to begin the Mox fuel
programme in
Japan as soon as possible.=20

The Mox at Tepco's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is supplied by Cogema, BNFL's
French competitor, but locals and green groups claim that all Mox fuel
presents an
unacceptable risk.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has
not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  Corporate Watch
in Japanese is making this article available in our efforts to advance
understanding of ecological sustainability, human rights, economic
democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a
'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of
the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for
purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission
from the copyright owner.

Corporate Watch in Japanese
Transnational Resource and Action Center (TRAC)
P.O. Box 29344
San Francisco, CA 94129 USA
Tel: 1-415-561-6472
Fax: 1-415-561-6493
The Corporate Watch in Japanese (CWJ)
mailing list is a moderated email list in English designed to connect
activists campaigning against Japanese corporations and investments around
the world.
To unsubscribe from the CWJ mailing list, send an email to with text "unsubscribe cwj".  To subscribe to the CWJ
mailing list, send a message to with the text
"subscribe cwj"
The CWJ mailing list is NOT intended for wide distribution.  If you would
like to post messages from this list somewhere else, we ask that you first
contact us at

Return to Index
Return to cwj HOME