Workers at Ikata nuclear power plant here started removing spent mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel from the No. 3 reactor following a delay due to a minor mishap. As it has yet to be decided how to ultimately dispose of the fuel, which is a mix of plutonium and uranium, it will be stored temporarily in pools on the premises. The removal work, which started at 9 p.m. on Jan. 13, was scheduled to begin at 12 a.m. the same day. However, during preparatory work the previous day, workers mistakenly removed a control rod that was aimed to curb nuclear fission reactions, and the operation was delayed for safety confirmation. MOX fuel is currently used in four reactors at three nuclear plants in Japan for pluthermal power generation. Nuclear power plants typically make use of uranium fuel. To make MOX, plutonium is extracted from spent uranium fuel and then reprocessed.
Asahi Shimbun 14th Jan 2020 read more »