China’s nuclear power development has adopted a “three-step” strategy of thermal neutron reactors, fast neutron breeder reactors, and fusion reactors. China has already formed a well-organized nuclear fuel cycle system. Pressurized water reactors and fast reactors are developing at the same time, allowing for advanced reprocessing technology and a closed fuel cycle system. This is intended to guarantee the sustainable development of China’s nuclear power. 

Fast reactors are the main type of 4th generation advanced nuclear power systems. They increase the utilization rate of natural uranium resources from the current 1% to 60% or more, and minimize radioactive waste. Problems such as depletion of uranium ore resources, low utilization rate of nuclear materials, and difficult treatment of nuclear waste can also be solved.

In December 2017, the China National Nuclear Corporation announced the start of civil engineering work for a model fast reactor project in Xiapu County, Fujian Province. It targets project a fast neutron breeder reactor with a single installed capacity of 600,000 kW, and is scheduled to be completed and put into operation in 2023.

Japan JST China news, January 6, 2021