Utilities that operate nuclear power plants stopped funding the reprocessing of nuclear fuel in fiscal 2016, their financial reports showed Sunday, a step that may affect resource-scarce Japan's nuclear fuel recycling policy.

The 10 utilities, including Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and Japan Atomic Power Co., apparently halted allocating reserve funds for reprocessing costs due to the huge expenses linked to building the reprocessing facilities, sources said.

The government, along with the power companies, has been pushing for the reuse of mixed-oxide, or MOX, fuel, which is created from plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel.