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Oil Report

Japan's Hokkaido Electric applies to use MOX fuel

 TOKYO, April 18 (Reuters) - Japanese utility Hokkaido
Electric Power Co 9509.T said on Friday it applied for
permission to use reprocessed atomic fuel at the No. 3 unit of
its Tomari nuclear power generator in northern Japan from nearby
communities and the prefecture.
 The move comes as Japan tries to move towards a "closed"
domestic nuclear fuel cycle where it recycles its own spent fuel
and then burns recovered uranium and plutonium as mixed-oxcide
(MOX) fuel.
 However, MOX plutonium-uranium enriched fuel is controversial
because critics fear it could be used to build nuclear weapons.
 So far no commercial reactors in Japan use the MOX fuel.
 Electric power companies have said they would like to have 16
to 18 plants using the reprocessed fuel by the business year
ending March 2011, but it was unclear if the goal will be
reached.
 With the latest move by Hokkaido Electric, the power industry
is one step closer to its goal, although the goal was still
difficult, Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of the Federation of
Electric Power Companies of Japan, told reporters on Friday.
 Katsumata is the president of Japan's top utility Tokyo
Electric Power Co 9501.T.
 The following is a list of units of Japanese power companies
that plan to use reprocessed fuel and their target dates to start
operations by:
Company, Plant          Unit               Target Date    
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Tokyo Electric Power Co 9501.T
 NA                  3-4 units          NA
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Kansai Electric Power Co 9503.T
 Ohi                 No.1 and No.2      March 2011
 Takahama            No.3 and No.4      March 2011
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
Chubu Electric Power Co 9502.T
 Hamaoka             No.4               March 2011
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Kyushu Electric Power Co 9508.T
 Genkai              No.3               December 2010
----------------------------------------------------------------- Tohoku Electric Power Co 9506.T
 Onagawa             No.2 or No.3       March 2011
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Chugoku Electric Power Co 9504.T
 Shimane             No.2               March 2011
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Hokkaido Electric Power Co 9509.T
 Tomari              No.3               March 2011
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Shikoku Electric Power Co 9507.T
 Ikata               No.3               March 2011
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Hokuriku Electric Power Co 9505.T
 Shika               NA                 NA
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Japan Atomic Power Co
 Tokai Daini         (1 unit)           March 2011
 Tsuruga             No.2               March 2011
----------------------------------------------------------------- J-Power 9513.T
 Oma                 (1 unit)           March 2012
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 (Reporting by James Topham and Osamu Tsukimori)


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