by Jarret Adams
Today, some 35 reactors around the world are using mixed-oxide fuel produced by AREVA, and fuel for more is under development. Our customers are found throughout Western Europe and Japan. Some German nuclear power plants have been using MOX fuel successfully in their reactors for 35 years.
MOX has many benefits, but among the most important are that it allows utilities to use recycled nuclear fuel and reduces the amount of material that must be disposed in a final repository. In fact, the use of recycling together with MOX fuel allow for countries to reduce the volume of material for disposal in a repository by a factor of five.
For some utilities, MOX fuel is more than just a good way to manage used fuel. MOX fuel can also help customers hedge against volatility in the uranium market. Because most MOX fuel comes from recycled fuel, no fresh uranium and enrichment are needed.
AREVA announced last month a new agreement with Japan’s Ohma nuclear power plant. This follows on agreements signed between AREVA and several Japanese utilities to supply MOX fuel for 16 to 18 reactors in the country beginning in 2010.
In the United States, AREVA is partnering with the Shaw Group construct the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina. This facility will convert former weapons-grade material into MOX fuel for U.S. electric utilities. Construction began in August 2007 and the facility is now approximately 17 percent complete.
KansaiIn Development51135+ Tags: AREVA Inc., AREVA North America, Belgium, France, Fuel Reprocessing, Germany, Japan, MOX Fuel, Recycling, Switzerland