Nuclear power generation produces massive amounts of energy from comparatively small quantities of fuel. Once fuel has been added to the reactor, a nuclear power plant can run continuously for approximately one year without adding or exchanging fuel. It also excels in global environmental protection, due chiefly to the absence of atmospheric pollutants that cause acid rain and CO2
in emissions during power generation.
Uranium ore extracted from mines is turned into nuclear fuel after going through various processes. Spent fuel contains reusable uranium and newly produced plutonium. Reprocessing spent fuel recovers these valuable, reusable materials, which can be recycled. This process from mining uranium ore to recycling of spent fuel is called the nuclear fuel cycle.
Japan has few natural energy resources and depends heavily on foreign imports for most of its energy needs. To ensure a stable energy supply through the effective use of uranium resources and to take appropriate measures in managing radioactive wastes, Japan is pushing ahead toward the establishment of the nuclear fuel cycle.
In Order to view the PDF documents, you will need a software product called Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You can download this software product for free
from Adobe’s Web site by clicking the left button: