UN atomic expert downplays China nuclear 'breakthrough'

Jan 17, 2011
Nuclear reactors at a US power plant. China has become one of only a handful of countries that can reprocess spent nuclear fuel but is not yet capable of doing so on an industrial scale, a UN atomic expert said Monday.

China has become one of only a handful of countries that can reprocess spent nuclear fuel but is not yet capable of doing so on an industrial scale, a UN atomic expert said Monday.

Earlier this month, the National Nuclear Corporation said it had achieved a significant "breakthrough" by developing a fuel reprocessing technology that will extend the lifespan of Beijing's proven uranium deposits to 3,000 years, from the current forecast of 50-70 years.

Experts said however that other countries already own such technology and it remains to be seen whether China will reprocess spent fuel on an industrial scale.

"The completion of a pilot-scale fuel recycling facility... puts China into a fairly exclusive group of nuclear technology holders, as few other countries are currently operating at even this scale," said Gary Dyck, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section.

But "for China to enter into commercial recycling of irradiated , they will need to construct and commission a much larger facility," Dyck said.

China announced its "breakthrough" to much fanfare on state television two weeks ago, but provided scant detail about the technology.

Dyck told AFP that China's pilot-scale plant was based on the same aqueous recycle technology used in all commercial-scale plants currently in operation in countries such as France and Russia.

He said that recycling fuel from light water reactors and using the plutonium to produce MOX (mixed oxide fuel, made up of plutonium and uranium) fuel for use in other light water reactors "can improve the efficiency with which uranium resources are used by approximately 15 percent."

That rate of efficiency could then be improved "by a factor of 60 or more" if the recycle technology is used with fast breeder reactors.

China commissioned its first fast breeder reactor, the China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), just last year.

Beijing has stepped up investment in nuclear power in an effort to slash its world-leading carbon emissions and scale down the nation's heavy reliance on coal, which accounts for 70 percent of its energy needs.

China currently has 13 nuclear reactors and has given the green light to plans for 34 others, 26 of which are already under construction.

Beijing currently produces around 750 tonnes of uranium a year but annual demand could rise to 20,000 tonnes a year by 2020, according to state media.

China, which overtook Japan in mid-2010 to become the world's second-largest economy, is the world's biggest energy consumer, according to the International Energy Agency.

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User comments : 22

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geokstr
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2011
(China)...is not yet capable of doing so on an industrial scale, a UN atomic expert said Monday.

Yet.

Because the green freaks, envirowhackos and other assorted leftists (but I tripeat myself) have dishonestly, relentlessly, and remorselessly demagogued and apocalysed anything to do with the horrid, evil little atom, even a third world toilet like China is now far ahead of us in nuclear technology and power production.

We just have so much to thank the Progs for, don't we?
Decimatus
3 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2011
I agree with you on some parts, but you make it sound as if conservatives are better.

If we hadn't spent a trillion dollars pointlessly occupying 2 countries we could have dumped that money into battery technology or something useful.

Mind you I am not saying we not go after terrorists, just that occupying was a big mistake.
geokstr
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2011
So your answer as to how to respond to 9/11 was to build batteries? Boy, that would have given al-Qaeda the comeuppance they deserved, for sure.

I never was much of a fan of the Iraq War, but we should have finished the job in Afghanistan, at the same time as we poured the rest of that trillion you mentioned into developing our own resources, not just with batteries, but also with a ton of nuclear power plants and even, yes, dare I say it, drill, baby, drill. (That will get me a lot of "1" ratings from the environuts and AGW religionists here. (Like I give a rat's *ss.))

Instead, we continue to finance those who would destroy us to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
Decimatus
5 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2011
No, how I respond to 9/11 is a couple hundred billion in smart bombs and cruise missiles. Not a pointless trillion dollar occupation.

The batteries are so that we can finally get off oil and end funding to terrorist sponsors.

And replace income tax with a VAT tax to put a plug in the giant leak that is pouring our wealth into china's pockets.
Skepticus
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2011
How about using the proven nuclear technology to wean off trillions of dollars spend on foreign oil, use the money saved to built thousands of of Predators blanketing the sky 24/7 to fight the war instead of occupying force? The money for those troops can also go into other alternative energy source developments.
The "evil atom" is the most successful brainwashing of the pulic by vested interests and politicians in history. If nuclear power plants are hailed as a good solution for energy, more countries will build them without protests, more nuclear info and hardware will be everywhere for more fiends to be able to build nuclear weapons. Then fiends can't be pressured like now with threats because they can nuke back if pushed against the wall! "Nooo... the atoms' power is too dangerous for you dick, tom and harry, best left to the military only. Protest more to close down all those mis-informed built plants, good, good citizens, stand up and bark!"
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 18, 2011
how do you stop extremists holed up in caves in Afghan/Pakistan border mountains who are willing to die for their beliefs? Show me the tech. that can do that.
Decimatus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011
how do you stop extremists holed up in caves in Afghan/Pakistan border mountains who are willing to die for their beliefs? Show me the tech. that can do that.


h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator

Each B-2 can carry 2. Leave no mountain or hillside untouched.
Bog_Mire
2 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2011
nice way to ingratiate the locals - blowing up everything on the mountain? Then again the US has never been concerned with collateral damage, has it?
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 18, 2011
Not that I'm critical, just pointing out the futility of what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I wonder about the actual long term goals, and if blasting mountainsides is the way to go.
Decimatus
4 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011
You don't ingratiate them. Total war until they concede.

Or we mind our own business. There is no middle ground.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2011
You don't ingratiate them. Total war until they concede.
Until who conceeds, the innocent population or the dictator hidden miles below ground?
geokstr
2 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011
As usual the left drags the conversation to the evil BusHitler, so we can't see that the reason even a hostile, backwater state like China is eating our lunch with nuclear tech is because of their own anti-nuclear propaganda and blatant scare-mongering.

In football and magic, and even a famous movie, they call that "misdirection". Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2011
As usual the left drags the conversation to the evil BusHitler,
When?
so we can't see that the reason even a hostile, backwater state like China is eating our lunch with nuclear tech is because of their own anti-nuclear propaganda and blatant scare-mongering.
The anti-nuclear lobby is the coal and oil industry.
In football and magic, and even a famous movie, they call that "misdirection". Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
I still have absolutely no idea what you're tlaking about.
GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2011
The anti-nuclear lobby is the coal and oil industry


So the Siera Club and Greenpeace are funded by oil and coal now? You need to check out the list of people who file EPA law suits to block construction of nuclear power plants.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2011
The anti-nuclear lobby is the coal and oil industry


So the Siera Club and Greenpeace are funded by oil and coal now?
Show me the anti-nuclear campaign contributions. Exactly zero dollars of which come from greenpeace and the Sierra Club.
You need to check out the list of people who file EPA law suits to block construction of nuclear power plants.
You need to check on who bankrolls the lawsuits.
geokstr
3 / 5 (4) Jan 19, 2011
You know, SH, I really wanted to ignore you but you lie about everything.

I just went to Greenpeace site and searched on "nuclear power". First article:
Dangers of Nuclear Energy
Dangerous, high-risk, meltdown, catastrophe... see why these words accurately describe nuclear energy and join us as we push for no new nukes!

From the page of the Sierra Club on nukes:
The Sierra Club opposes the licensing, construction and operation of new nuclear reactors utilizing the fission process, pending:

And then goes on to list conditions that give them so much weasel room that they would never be satisfied. They also completely oppose breeder reactors, and are still trumpeting the phony Three Mile Island "disaster".

And please, school us on who "bankrolls" suits against the construction of nuclear power plants, and who fights in court every word of every environmental impact study, and who finds new "endangered" furbish louseworts to prevent licensing new reactors.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2011
And then goes on to list conditions that give them so much weasel room that they would never be satisfied. They also completely oppose breeder reactors, and are still trumpeting the phony Three Mile Island "disaster".

And please, school us on who "bankrolls" suits against the construction of nuclear power plants, and who fights in court every word of every environmental impact study, and who finds new "endangered" furbish louseworts to prevent licensing new reactors.
Simply substantiate your claims and you won't be questioned every single time you spew rhetoric.

See how easy it is? Didn't hurt you a bit did it?
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2011
from the Greenpeace web site:

Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants


They spend a huge amount of money hiring lawyers to fight nuclear power. I don't know about campaign contributions, but I would bet my life that they make them either directly or indirectly.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2011
I looked it up. The official number for Greenpeace lobbyists in 2010 was just under $40,000. But, like I said above, that's not really how Greenpeace works. They don't do very much political lobbying, as the prefer to do what they call direct actions. That involves funding for advertising campaigns and legal actions for the most part, rather than lobbying. The movement against genetically modified food is almost entirely funded by Greenpeace in the US. They are the ones who are credited for coining the term frankenfood. They are listed on almost every anti-nuclear lawsuit filed in the US, as anti-nuke has always been a key issue for them and was the first thing they did when they were founded.
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 20, 2011
wow $40K
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2011
Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants


Interesting article here by co-founder and former member of Green Peace Patrick Moore about why he is now in the "nuclear camp". Long-ish article, but it's worth a read for sure.

http:DELETEME//www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401209.html
Modernmystic
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2011
You don't ingratiate them. Total war until they concede.


Thank God someone finally said it. You can't have peace until someone wins. That means TOTALLY and COMPLETELY broken in spirit.

That's why this bullshit going on between Israel and the Palestinians isn't a "peace process"...it's a war process. Every time one side gets the upper hand the rest of the world slaps them down. Once one side kicks every last scrap of shit out of the other THEN you can have peace.