Monday, January 3, 2011

China boasts breakthrough in nuclear technology

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A Chinese security personal stands guard at the entrance to the nuclear power plant in Qinshan, in China's Zhejiang province June 10, 2005. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
BEIJING | Mon Jan 3, 2011 2:54pm EST
(Reuters) - Chinese scientists have made a breakthrough in spent fuel reprocessing technology that could potentially solve China's uranium supply problem, state television reported on Monday.
The technology, developed and tested at the No.404 Factory of China National Nuclear Corp in the Gobi desert in remote Gansu province, enables the re-use of irradiated fuel and is able to boost the usage rate of uranium materials at nuclear plants by 60 folds.
"With the new technology, China's existing detected uranium resources can be used for 3,000 years," Chinese Central Television reported.
China, as well as France, the United Kingdom and Russia, actively supports reprocessing as a means for the management of highly radioactive spent fuel and as a source of fissile material for future nuclear fuel supply.
But independent scientists argued that commercial application of nuclear fuel reprocessing has always been hindered by cost, technology, proliferation risk and safety challenges.

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