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Areva to build reprocessing plant in China

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Areva and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) "signed a letter of intent to build a used fuel treatment and recycling facility in China," according to a press-release by Areva. The facility will have the capacity to reprocess 800 tonnes of spent fuel of Chinese power reactors a year. According to Areva representatives, the agreement appears to include construction of a MOX fuel fabrication facility that would "integrate some of the elements present at Melox" and use "certain elements in terms of processing uranil nitrate that can be fount at the Pierrelatte site." UPDATE: Note that no commitment to build the facility has been made and it is unclear whether the agreement will materialize.

China was seeking access to the French reprocessing technology as part of the arrangement that involves construction of French power reactors in China. In 2009, France offered to supply a reprocessing facility, but the two sides apparently had disagreements about the price as well as restrictions on the use of technology that France wanted to include in the contract. It is not clear if the two sides managed to successfully address all these disagreements.

In 2010, Belgium and China reached an agreement to provide China with MOX fuel fabrication technology. That agreement also involved China National Nuclear Corporation.

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