Anna Walker, head of the energy section with the UK Department of Trade and Industry, and Hirobumi Kawano, chief of Japan’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency, have met to resolve the problem of what to do with the MOX fuel rods tainted with false data that have been languishing at the Takahama nuclear facility in Japan since last year.

As a result of the meetings, Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) and BNFL have reached agreement that will see eight fuel rod assemblies returned to the UK. BNFL has also agreed to pay £40 million ($60 million) in compensation to KEPCO. In return, KEPCO has agreed to lift its moratorium on BNFL fuel and reprocessing business and may even accept fuel in place of a component of the compensation payment, provided certain quality assurances are given. BNFL chief executive Norman Askew said, “We have been working very hard with our customers to find a solution. I am very pleased that these matters have been resolved, and with the lifting of the moratorium, it opens the way for re-establishing a normal business relationship.” The shipment date will be fixed following negotiations with the US and other countries en route.