China is coming to a crossroads as it hurriedly increases nuclear power production to cope with rising electricity demand and cut carbon emissions: Should it reprocess its nuclear waste or store it? Nonproliferation advocates warn that recycling waste would generate weapons-usable plutonium, posing a security risk and potentially stirring a nuclear rivalry in East Asia. A new Harvard University study, co-authored by a senior Chinese nuclear engineer, gives another reason against reprocessing — it doesn’t make economic sense. The study says China could save tens of billions of dollars by storing the spent fuel, and the savings could be spent on research and on building nuclear reactors. It recommends postponing major investments in reprocessing and so-called “breeder” reactors that produce more plutonium than they consume.
ABC News 14th Jan 2016 read more »