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Departure of the first shipment of recycled (MOX) fuel to Japan

Press release

July 22, 1999

On Wednesday 21 July, COGEMA carried out its first shipment of MOX fuel to Japan.

The Pacific Teal, scheduled to reach its destination in the second half of September, is now sailing to Japan via the Cape of Good Hope and the South Pacific Ocean.
While taking into account regulatory security requirements, COGEMA was determined to provide full information and to answer questions raised by this transport, from whatever source. Our presence at the 19 July session of the Special and Permanent Information Commission of La Hague (CSPI), specially devoted to the land and sea transport of MOX fuel, attested to this attitude.

At this public meeting, COGEMA and TRANSNUCLEAIRE addressed an audience in which associations were significatively represented, in order to answer questions concerning the details of this operation.
This information policy is also reflected by the release of documents on a dedicated Internet site and by the opening, on 21 July, of a press center for journalists wishing to attend the loading and departure of the Pacific Teal.

This transport is an important step in the implementation of the Japanese nuclear power program, and confirms COGEMA lead and its technological expertise in managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Other shipments will follow.
In fact, the ramp up of the MOX loading of Japanese reactors means that by 2010, 16 to 18 of them will be running on this type of fuel.
This delivery is the culmination of the efforts by the Group's personnel and the result of a long extended of cooperation between British, French and Japanese authorities.

This collective mobilization enabled COGEMA to fulfil its commitment made in 1997 to the Japanese power companies, including TEPCO and KEPCO.

On Sunday 11 July Greenpeace militants willfully damaged handling facilities of the port of Cherbourg, to demonstrate their hostility to the departure of MOX fuel. Complaints have been filed by COGEMA and by the CCI of Cherbourg. Greenpeace France and 11 of its members have been placed under investigation. In an urgent hearing, the District Court of Cherbourg also ordered this organization to refrain from approaching the ships closer than 100 meters on land and 300 meters at sea.

On Wednesday 21 July, on the basis of a British court decision, BNFL (British Nuclear Fuel plc) and PNTL (Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited) obtained from the District Court of Amsterdam a decision to freeze the account of Greenpeace International.