MOX plant construction shown

Kyodo

Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. showed reporters Thursday its MOX nuclear fuel plant being built in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.

Work began in October 2010 but was halted for about a year after the March 2011 disasters. Work resumed in April, but the facility is only about 3 percent done. Completion is expected to be delayed beyond the target date of March 2016.

Last month, the company completed drilling work to enhance the foundation’s earthquake resistance and it is now checking the firmness of bedrock located about 24 meters underground. It will start building a structure on it once the bedrock passes a strength test, company officials said.

MOX fuel is made from plutonium and remaining uranium in spent nuclear fuel. It is reprocessed as a mixed oxide fuel to power nuclear reactors. The fuel is considered a key part of the nuclear fuel recycling program that was in play before the Fukushima No. 1 plant meltdown disaster started in March 2011.