Seven years after a scandal dashed Britain's hopes of exporting nuclear fuel to Japan, there are signs that shipments could begin again in the near future.

A source familiar with the Japanese nuclear industry said British Nuclear Group Ltd. could be asked to provide MOX fuel to Japan, probably after 2010.

The fuel -- a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides -- was at the center of controversy in 1999, when it was revealed workers in Britain skipped quality tests, falsifying data on MOX sent to a reactor in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture.

But the company responsible, British Nuclear Group, will have to work to regain the trust of Japanese utilities and regulators and, for the time being, the power firms are expected to continue using MOX from France.