BEIJING      -    China is still actively promoting a nuclear fuel reprocessing project with France’s Orano, formerly called Areva, the head of China’s nuclear safety watchdog said on Tuesday.

France is one of the world’s few civil nuclear powers which reprocesses and reuses part of the spent fuel of its nuclear reactors, rather than treating it as waste.

China, which has a rapidly expanding nuclear fleet, wants to acquire the technology to reduce its reliance on nuclear fuel imports.

But with uranium prices near decade lows, however, the business case for reprocessing is less compelling and China has been dragging its feet for years on signing the contract.