Tepco starts power output with MOX fuel

FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) Power generation using plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel started at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant Thursday morning, the utility said.

The No. 3 reactor at the plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, is the third in Japan for MOX fuel power generation, known as “pluthermal,” with the others at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture and Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture.

Tepco will boost the reactor’s power output to nearly 100 percent in about five days. It will then launch commercial operations after a final government inspection on Oct. 26, it said.

Pluthermal, a Japanese word that combines “plutonium” and “thermal,” involves the use of MOX fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium reprocessed from spent uranium, to produce electricity.