A vessel carrying nuclear fuel processed in France docked in Japan on Thursday amid protests, the first such shipment to the country since the disaster at Fukushima, local media reported.

Kansai Electric Power Co received the mixed-oxide fuel containing uranium and plutonium for use at the utility’s Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui prefecture as it seeks to restart reactor 3 at the complex.

Power companies plan to apply for government approval to reactivate their reactors once new safety requirements for nuclear plants come into force in July 2013.

Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors were shut down for repairs and regular maintenance after the atomic disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Only two of them were restarted amid fierce public opposition.

The plant suffered meltdowns at three of its six reactors after it was struck by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.