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Press Release (Apr 23, 2013)Solution for TEPCO's Plutonium in France

Due to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused by the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake, a decision was made to decommission Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1-4 reactors (Previously announced on May 20, 2011).

Fabrication of MOX fuels*1 in France for TEPCO had been suspended but a part was already manufactured. Based on the above decision, we have deliberated on the best solution to deal with these fuels and the corresponding plutonium which include those for Unit 3 of the Power Station.

Meanwhile, foreign utilities who owned their plutonium in the United Kingdom wanted to have MOX fuels manufactured in France. Therefore, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)*2 in the UK and AREVA NC in France proposed us a swap of part of our plutonium in France (i.e. approximately 430 kg of fissile plutonium) with an equivalent quantity of plutonium in the UK owned by the foreign utilities, through NDA and AREVA NC. As a result of internal deliberation, we decided to accept this proposal and accordingly, the swap has been executed.

The plutonium swap doesn't change the total amount of our plutonium. From now on, the swapped plutonium, which is TEPCO's property in the UK, will be under an appropriate storage by NDA in compliance with relevant regulations.

We believe that the transaction contributes to earlier plutonium recycling into MOX fuel for the foreign utilities and therefore to the promotion of the peaceful utilisation of plutonium as well as effective use of energy resources. It has been confirmed by relevant governments and regulators as well as the Japanese government that this transaction raises no issues from the perspective relating to non-proliferation.

*1 MOX Fuel
A Fuel fabricated by blending uranium and plutonium retrieved from spent fuels.

*2 Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)
Location: Moor Row, Cumbria, U.K.
Principal Activities: Reprocessing of Nuclear Fuels, Decommissioning and clean-up of British civil nuclear power sites etc.
Establishment: April 2005
Note: A non-departmental public body established under the Energy Act 2004

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