Heping Uranium Enrichment Plant

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Last Updated: September 29, 2011
Other Name: Plant 814 (814厂)
Location: Jinkouhe, Sichuan Province
Subordinate To: China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)
Size: Two large process buildings and related support facilities
Facility Status: Operational; stopped HEU production in 1987

The Heping Uranium Enrichment Plant is China's second gaseous diffusion facility (GDP). It is one of the so-called “Third Line” facilities, built in the inner Sichuan province as a backup to what was perceived as the more vulnerable Lanzhou gaseous diffusion plant.[1] Heping uses gaseous diffusion technology similar to that used at Lanzhou, although it reportedly has a larger production capacity.

The plant became operational around 1975, but was converted to civilian use in 1987 as part of China’s “military-to-civilian conversion” policy.[2] During this period of military production, the Heping GDP is estimated to have produced 2.7 million SWU, enough for 14 tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) total.[3] The plant is reported to be operational, although in the late 1990s China indicated that its ageing gaseous diffusion plants would be replaced by gas centrifuge plants for commercial production of low-enriched uranium (LEU).[4]

Sources:
[1] David Albright and Corey Hinderstein, “Chinese Military Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium Inventories,” ISIS, 30 June 2005, www.isis-online.org.
[2] “Global Fissile Material Report 2010,” International Panel on Fissile Materials, 2010, www.fissilematerials.org.
[3] “Global Fissile Material Report 2010,” International Panel on Fissile Materials, 2010, www.fissilematerials.org.
[4] James Bodgener, "China's Military Legacy," Nuclear Engineering International, 23 July 2008, www.lexis-nexis.com; Mark Hibbs, “With More Russian Centrifuges, China Will Close Lanzhou Plant," Nuclear Fuel, 6 October 1997, www.lexis-nexis.com.

 

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.