French Prime Minister François Fillon stated during a speech in Beijing on 21 December 2009 that France and China think about "sustainable nuclear energy and in particular the reprocessing of spent fuel". Fillon claimed that it is in exploring this route that one could turn nuclear power into "a real energy [source] of the future". He added:
France and China have decided from now on to recycle the nuclear materials in fuel for which the EPR has been specifically designed. They have united their forces in order to allow China to put into service a reprocessing and spent fuel recycling plant that is based on French technology that has been proven for more than 25 years and that we have not ceased to perfect.
Prime Minister Fillon stressed his hopes that these agreements will help the two countries to accede to "the first rank of worldwide ecological responsibility".
Earlier China suggested that transfer of the reprocessing technology should be part of the contract to supply French reactors to China.