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No MOX fuel transport from France to Japan

Press release

August 11, 2000

Under contracts signed by COGEMA and utilities concerning the recycling of spent fuel from their nuclear reactors, the transport of nuclear materials has been organized between France and various other countries.

This is the case of the transport of MOX fuel to be used in nuclear reactors of Japanese utilities committed to a recycling policy for their plutonium. The first MOX fuel transport form Europe to Japan took place in July 1999. This type of operation is widely publicized: departure date, name of the ships, name of the loading and unloading ports as well as the total number of fuel assemblies and transport packages, are all communicated prior to departure from Europe.

The route chosen and the approximate arrival date in Japan are published after departure. This information policy will of course be renewed. It is worth to recall that the transport of MOX fuel between France and Japan is carried out under the control of the authorities of both countries, as well as with the formal approval of American authorities in virtue of the agreements made between the Japanese and American governments in 1988.

The transport of nuclear materials complies with an established system of stringent and rigorous international regulations. These regulations concern the specific transport packages, called casks, the design of the ships, as well as the physical protection systems. Nuclear materials have been transported by sea since the 1960's.