China says it knows how to reprocess nuclear fuel

January 3, 2011 5:09:10 AM PST
China says its scientists have mastered the technology for reprocessing nuclear fuel, which could dramatically increase the country's power supply. The report on CCTV state television Monday said the country has enough fuel now to last up to 70 years. The breakthrough could yield enough to last 3,000 years.

China has 13 nuclear power plants now. The new process to recover fissile and fertile materials to provide new fuel is not yet being used there on an industrial scale.

CCTV says the details of the process the Chinese scientists developed are being kept secret.

Several European countries, Russia and Japan already reprocess nuclear fuel to recover the unused uranium and plutonium, reduce waste and safely close the nuclear cycle.