France’s environment minister Dominique Voynet says she will not endorse any new reprocessing contracts between Cogema and Japanese utilities, arguing that such contracts would violate the agreement between her Green Party and the ruling socialist party.

Voynet also said that she could not envisage approving any increase in MOX fuel fabrication capacity at Melox, because she does not regard reprocessing as a viable long-term option. Voynet’s remarks follow reports that the Japanese utilities want Cogema to reprocess an additional 600t of spent fuel.