Nuclear regulators in Japan have approved a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant capable of extracting plutonium. The plant located in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, takes spent fuel from reactors and extracts uranium as well as plutonium that can be reused, Kyodo News reported Wednesday. Once in operation, the plant will be able to process as much as 800 tons of spent fuel annually and extract about 8 tons of plutonium, used to produce mixed oxide, or MOX, according to the report. The project is estimated to cost about $130 billion. Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited is expected to complete work on a new reprocessing plant at Rokkasho by the first half of 2021, with the goal of restarting the plant by January 2022. A review is expected to take a year and may delay completion, however.
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