China says it has mastered nuclear fuel reprocessing

RIA Novosti

19:23 03/01/2011

BEIJING, January 3 (RIA Novosti) – Chinese scientists have developed own technologies for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel, which could increase the country’s power supply dramatically, state television reported on Monday.

“Globally, within the nuclear fuel industry, we’re one of a minority of countries that can do the nuclear fuel cycle,” Sun Qin, general manager of the state-run China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) which developed the technology, was quoted as saying in the report.

Scientists have been working on the reprocessing technology for 24 years, he added.

The country has enough fuel to last up to 70 years, but the breakthrough could yield enough extra fuel to potentially extend that to 3,000 years, the TV report said.

The invention would be an important step forward in China’s plans to increase the share of alternative power sources in its energy and achieve energy security.

Several European countries including Russia, India and Japan already reprocess irradiated nuclear fuel. Each country’s process is considered an industrial secret and not shared.


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