The Financial Times reported that Chinese scientists are planning to develop a revolutionary "pebble bed" nuclear reactor, designed to be both meltdown- and proliferation-proof. The new Shandong 195-MW reactor will come on stream in five years, FT said. Pebble bed reactors use thousands of small graphite balls filled with minute uranium cores to provide the fuel for the nuclear reaction. According to the newspaper, the plant would be the first radically new reactor design for decades, putting China at the forefront in nuclear energy research. The consortium behind the project reportedly includes Huaneng Power International Inc, Beijing's Tsinghua University and China Nuclear Engineering and Construction.
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