China’s low-enriched uranium micro-reactor starts operation

Beijing, March 28 (IANS) China’s first Miniature Neutron Sources Reactor (MNSR) has passed all tests and has started operating at full power, the media reported on Monday.

This is the first time China has replaced a traditional high-enriched uranium reactor core with a low-enriched one, said Xu Dazhe, head of State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) and China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA).

This will reduce risks in using, transporting, and storing nuclear fuels, because low-enriched uranium cannot be used for an atomic bomb, the China Daily reported.

Xu added that the reactor is also a result of China-US nuclear security cooperation.

The project was jointly initiated in 2011 between CAEA and the Argonne National Laboratory, a US Department of Energy Lab.

CAEA said it will share information with other countries on its experiences during the operation, to help enhance nuclear security globally.

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