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Apr 19 – 22, 2022
Vienna, Austria
Europe/Vienna timezone
FR22 starts in Vienna 19 - 22 April 2022 Online Stream:

Perspectives and discussions on the modes and development path of China's commercial closed nuclear fuel cycle

Apr 20, 2022, 11:16 AM
Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

ORAL Track 3. Fuels, Fuel Cycles and Waste Management 3.1 Fuel Cycle Scenarios


Mr MIN XIAO (China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute)


China already has 48 nuclear power reactors in operation, and 12 nuclear power reactors under construction till June,2020. The accumulated spent fuel in China has exceeded 8,500 tons. China implements the established policy of closed nuclear fuel cycle for the sustainable development of nuclear power. However, there seems no feasible development plan and road map to initiate and deploy a commercial closed fuel cycle in China up to now.
If the commercial closed nuclear fuel cycle would to be truly implemented in China, then how to initiate and deploy the commercial closed fuel cycle, and how to determine the feasible development path are the issues worthy of serious consideration for the Chinese nuclear industry. Unlike pure fuel cycle academic research, commercial closed nuclear fuel cycles need considering industrial and engineering feasibility as well as project economy in addition to technical feasibility aspects.
Large scale and commercial fast reactors and their fast fuel cycles are still far away, and the industrialization of the nuclear fuel cycle requires gradual and phased progress. Most of the operating nuclear power plants in China are PWR units. Since China implements and promotes a commercial closed nuclear fuel cycle, it cannot avoid the major issue of whether it is necessary to start a closed fuel cycle in the mature commercial PWRs. On the contrary, this issue needs to be seriously considered.
Different from the implementation of closed nuclear fuel cycle reactors in countries such as France and Russia, the operating status and modes of PWRs in our country are varied, and some have implemented different plant modifications such as reactor power, core design and fuel improvements, with different fuel types, different burn-ups, different cycle lengths, and different safety margins. These characteristics and differences bring challenges and difficulties to the implementation of a closed nuclear fuel cycle.
Based on international experiences and China’s situation, this paper discusses the necessity of initiating a closed nuclear fuel cycle from mature commercial nuclear power plants in China, as the initial stage of the closed fuel cycle to lay the foundation for the future advanced nuclear fuel cycle. Analyze and discuss the launch mode of China's commercial closed nuclear fuel cycle and spent fuel reprocessing plants, review the nuclear fuel types to be utilized in the closed nuclear fuel cycle, and discuss the possible configuration and development path of China's closed fuel cycle in the future.

Affiliation/Organization China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute/Cgn
Country/Int. organization China
Speaker's email address
Speaker's title Mr

Primary author

Mr MIN XIAO (China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute)

Presentation materials

Peer reviewing