PARIS (Kyodo) A ship carrying nuclear fuel processed in France is expected to leave for Japan in early April, environmental group Greenpeace France said Thursday.

The uranium-plutonium mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel slated for the shipment is the same type as that used in the No. 3 reactor at the quake-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, it said.

Greenpeace is ratcheting up its criticism of the expected shipment, saying the French government and the nuclear fuel company Areva SA are irresponsible for attempting to deliver a fresh batch of nuclear fuel to Japan via a long, risky sea route amid growing concerns over nuclear power. The ship, carrying MOX processed at a La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant in northwestern France, is expected to leave the port of Cherbourg in the week of April 4. But Areva said there is no plan for the ship’s departure around that time, indicating a possible delay.

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