Used nuclear fuel has been safely transported from Japan to France and the United Kingdom since 1969. After arriving in Europe it is reprocessed in dedicated plants for subsequent recycling. This service is provided for nuclear utilities supplying electricity in France, Britain, Germany; Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as in Japan.
Reprocessing used fuel recovers 97% of valuable, reusable materials and separates out the remaining 3% which is ultimately waste.
The waste is conditioned by turning it into a solid glass form by a process called vitrification and returned for disposal to the country from where it originated.
Independent nuclear experts around the world have stated that vitrification is a safe and secure method or treating, transporting and storing highly radioactive waste.
In Japan, the waste is to be stored at Rokkasho-Mura for 30 to 50 years before being transferred to a final disposal facility.