Chinese nuclear scientists have made a technological breakthrough by developing nuclear fuel reprocessing technology which could potentially solve the country's uranium supply problem, according to media reports.

The new technology enables the re-use of irradiated nuclear fuel and it can boost the usage rate of uranium fuel at nuclear plants by 60 times.

The new technology was developed and tested at the No. 404 Factory of the China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) in the Gobi Desert.

With the use of new technology, the existing detected uranium resources can last for 3,000 years from what had earlier been regarded as a 50-to-70-year supply.

China is presently having nuclear power capacity of 9 gigawatts and is expected to increase its capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2020. China has 12 nuclear reactor plants in operation and 25 under construction.

Chinese uranium demand is expected to reach 20,000 tons annually by 2020; by that time it will be able to produce only 2,400 tons a year, according to reports.