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Shikoku Electric Power Co. said Thursday that it will suspend operations of the No. 3 reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant on Dec. 26 for routine checkups and remove spent mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel from the reactor.

This will mark the first removal of used MOX fuel, a blend of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel and uranium, from any commercial nuclear power plant in Japan since an initiative on plu-thermal power generation using the mixed fuel was announced in 1997, according to the Shikoku utility.

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