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Success for scientists after 24 years

01-04-2011 08:58 BJT

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Irradiated fuel reprocessing research has been in motion for 24 years. When recounting the entire journey, scientists say the past quarter century of continuous efforts have been extremely worthwhile.

Zhang Tianxiang was among the first group of experts who established the irradiated fuel reprocessing research program. He has devoted his life to the endeavor, and was very excited when the test was successful.

Zhang Tianxiang, expert of China National Nuclear Corporation, said, "Some of the scientists in this field have passed away, but I think their wishes have been realized."

Zhang says the strategy to reprocess nuclear power was worked out in 1983. Four years later, the site to conduct the program's experiments was approved.

The first hot commissioning was carried out last March, using just 5% of total allowable irradiated fuel.

"It has been approved to start the test!"

"Please take notice. The hot commissioning countdown is starting. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, start!"

Wang Junfeng, chief director of Irradiated Fuel reprocessing Project, said, "The test was carried out in different phases. We used 5% of the irradiated fuel at first. The rest of the amount needed was substituted for by simulated material. This weakened its radioactivity levels."

With the 5% irradiated fuel test a success, the amount was raised to 50%. Finally, 100% irradiated fuel was used during an experiment conducted in last September.

Wang Junfeng said, "100% means we have reached our goals. I was very excited when we succeeded, and so was everyone else."

Wang says he's relieved that, after more than 20 years of research, a group of Chinese scientists were qualified enough to carry out the program, which gives him hope that more breakthroughs can be made in the future.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV.CN

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