Searching for a larger slice of domestic 'yellowcake'

Updated 2017-08-01 11:02:10 China Daily
A visitor learns about China's third-generation nuclear technology at an exhibition in Beijing on April 29. (CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

A visitor learns about China's third-generation nuclear technology at an exhibition in Beijing on April 29. (CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY)

Uranium exploration in China has been stepped up to unearth new reserves to fuel the country's state-of-the-art nuclear reactor program.

Yu Zhiping, general manager of CGNPC Uranium Resources Co Ltd, confirmed that the company has been looking to increase its supply of domestic deposits known as "yellowcake".

"China has substantial deposits of uranium, which is widespread," Yu said

"In the past two decades, we have explored several sandstone uranium deposits in northern China's basins," he added about CGNPC, which is a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corp.

"We plan to boost domestic uranium supplies and ensure energy sources for developing nuclear power."

In 2008, China discovered its first 10,000-metric-ton level leaching sandstone uranium deposit in the Yili basin in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Four years later, another large leaching sandstone uranium deposit was discovered in the Daying area of the northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The Yili basin, which has large uranium deposits, will be turned into a production base, according to Yu. Annual capacity will be about 1,000 tons.

There is also substantial potential for uranium deposits in the Erdos Basin and the Songliao Basin in Northeast China.

"As a country, we are not lacking in uranium resources," Yu, at CGNPC, said. "What we need is advanced exploration methods."

Low prices in the past five years have seen China stockpile uranium reserves.

Li Ning, dean of the School of Energy Research under Xiamen University, felt it made sense for the world's second largest economy to import more uranium.

"But domestic supplies are also substantial," Li said. "China has large verified deposits and rising demand will not impact the price since the market is oversupplied."

In the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) for energy development, nuclear power facilities generating more than 30 million kilowatts were slated to be constructed in China.

By 2020, the world's second largest economy expects to have 58 gigawatts of installed nuclear power, an increase of 16.5 percent year-on-year.

"The country will continue developing nuclear power safely and efficiently, while speeding up the construction of nuclear projects along the coastal regions," the development plan stated.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 23 2017 12:29:44

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 23 2017 12:29:44

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 23 2017 12:29:44

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords