MELOX given go-ahead to increase MOX fuel production
FINANCE / DOWNSTREAM
April 27, 2007
The French Government has given its authorization for AREVA to increase heavy metal production at its MELOX plant from 145 to 195 metric tons per year. The go-ahead came in an order dated April 26, 2007, and published the next day in the Official Bulletin.
As part of the request, the eleven nearest communities around the site were consulted in a public enquiry held between April 18 and June 17, 2006.
The production increase will involve optimizing the MELOX plant's capacities rather than any extension or major modification of its installations, and will moreover require no change in its current authorization orders concerning releases.
This move is part of AREVA's strategy to regroup all MOX production on its most recent MELOX site, in full compliance with the most stringent nuclear safety and environmental protection standards.
For Jürgen Krellmann, MELOX Site Director, the authorization "will enable MELOX to better meet the needs of its customers, coming as it does just a few months after the signing in 2006 of contracts with three electric utilities, which symbolized both Japan's newly relaunched used fuel recycling program and the trust that utilities have in AREVA's technology and know-how".
AREVA's MELOX plant, located on the Marcoule site in southern France, fabricates MOX fuel for use in nuclear power plants in various countries. Made from a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides, MOX fuel is a means of recycling the plutonium in used fuel. In 2006, MELOX produced more than 1175 metric tons of heavy metal, making it the world's biggest fabricator of MOX fuel.