A referendum over the use of MOX fuel in a small Japanese village will not be legally binding, the Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Co has indicated. The vote, over whether TEPCO should start to use MOX fuel – derived from reprocessed nuclear fuel – at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, will not change the company’s policy regarding MOX fuel, the company stated.

The Japanese government is lobbying in favour of the use of MOX fuel as part of its energy policy. However anti-nuclear sentiments have been growing in Japan. Plans to use MOX fuel were postponed once before, in 1999.