As China continues to grow its ever expanding economy, it is making massive investments in energy infrastructure, including clean sources such as nuclear energy and renewables. There are currently 24 nuclear reactors under construction in the country, and many more on the drawing board. China is taking a serious stance on nuclear energy, including ensuring fuel cycle supply and security.
Today, AREVA and two strategic Chinese partners, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), signed major agreements to do just that (read the press release).
In addition to a long-term uranium contact and manufacturing partnership, AREVA and CNNC signed a framework agreement in the field of used fuel treatment and recycling that serves as the final step toward a commercial contract.
Here in the United States, American leadership is still evaluating the best option for the country. The U.S. government’s current approach is the once-through approach in which nuclear fuel is used only once and then sent for disposal. However, every nation with a significant nuclear energy sector, except the United States, recycles its nuclear fuel. Today, China has taken another step toward developing this capability.
The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (more information here) is now re-evaluating options for used fuel management in this country and expects to make at least some preliminary recommendations next year. While this process plays out, other countries are clearly moving forward on this issue.
Tweet TAGS: Blue Ribbon Commission, CGNPC, China, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp
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