France will send its recycled nuclear fuel to Japan. That’s good news.
The bad news is that environmentalists say it is the biggest ever plutonium shipment and one that increases the chance of nuclear proliferation. Is there ever a chance to make environmentalists happy and do the right thing?
“We confirm the preparation of a shipment to Japan of MOX fuel,” said a spokesman for nuclear group Areva.
MOX, or mixed oxide, is a blend of plutonium and reprocessed uranium that Japan wants use … it’s first try.
Greenpeace (anybody surprised?) says that transporting MOX was “unsafe, insecure and unnecessary.”
This is the first MOX transport to Japan for eight years. This will be the largest shipment of plutonium in history – the MOX fuel elements contain a total of 1.8 tonnes of plutonium.
That’s enough to make 225 nuclear weapons,” it said.
Areva says the production of MOX is safe and it helps reduce the levels of nuclear waste. MOX has been in use in various countries across the world for more than thirty years. But Greenpeace argues: “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) believes that MOX can be used to make nuclear bombs.”
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency said “if a malevolent person managed to separate the plutonium from the uranium, which is a difficult process, this plutonium … would be capable of making a nuclear bomb. No-one has done this,” but, “One cannot exclude the possibility that an organization would try, and that is why these convoys are protected.”
Does anybody know anything that Greenpeace is NOT against!?