Chinese scientists have made a technological breakthrough in the country's nuclear energy program. The new accelerator-driven system (ADS) is able to raise the utilization rate of uranium to 95 percent, a great leap forward from less than 1 percent using the current technology, paving way for a safer, greener nuclear future, said the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) at a press conference on June 8.
The new system means that fission energy could be sustainable for roughly 10, 000 years. It's also more environmentally friendly, as it can shorten the radioactive life of used nuclear fuel to less than 500 years, and the volume of disposed nuclear waste can be reduced to less than 4 percent of the conventional amount.
Xu Hushan, vice director of the Institute of Modern Physics under CAS, said the achievement in advanced fission energy is the result of six years of research by the institute. The disappointingly low utilization rate of nuclear fuel and its safe disposal have been key challenges for the nuclear power industry.