BNFL’s MOX fuel plans are under threat after the governor of Fukushima prefecture called for a review of the nuclear power programme in the province.

BNFL, however, stated that there had “been no change in policy by either the utilities that operate the reactors or the national government”. The Japanese business is important to BNFL, as the UK environment minister Michael Meacher is stalling the opening of BNFL’s MOX facility, pending confirmation of the Japanese contracts.

BNFL is currently transporting a shipment of MOX on behalf of Cogema. Cogema’s commercial director Jean-Jacques Gautrot said: “It is quite common for the local population to be consulted on nuclear energy matters, and so far, it is too early to say whether this will be good news or bad news.”