Chinese scientists are planning to build super-efficient nuclear reactors by 2010 that can maximise uranium burn-up, minimise waste while quenching the energy crunch facing the communist giant.
If the first experimental reactor, set to be in operation by 2010, is successful, the technology could help relieve China’s uranium supply problems as the country accelerates nuclear power plant construction.
China Academy of Atomic Science President Zhao Zhixiang said a team of scientists has already mapped a detailed plan to speed up research and utilisation of the so-called next-generation fast reactors.
The new reactors are expected to burn 60-70 per cent of their uranium fuel — a conventional reactor consumes only 0.7 per cent of the uranium it is fed.
“This kind of reactor can greatly improve the efficiency of fuel burn-up, and we are trying our best to put the experimental reactor into use over the next five years,” Zhao was quoted as saying by China Daily.
Current reactors are only able to harness the power of 0.7 per cent of the radioactive isotopes found in natural uranium.
In the fast reactor, the process is optimised so that more of the previously untapped isotopes can be used to generate electricity, burning-up fuel at least 60 times more efficiently than in a normal reactor.
-Cool. Now i wonder what kind of reactors would that be ?! Even the chinese guy in my department didn’t have any idea about this but hey if this works, another thumbs up for Nuke power !