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China considers changes to nuclear power development plan
Updated: 2009-05-23 09:37

A Chinese energy official said Friday the government is considering an adjustment to its nuclear power development plan.

The world's second-largest energy user will boost nuclear power development in coastal areas while scientifically planning nuclear power stations inland, said Zhou Xi'an, director of the General Affairs Department of the National Energy Administration.

Zhou would not provide more details.

"The golden time for China's nuclear power development has come," Zhou said at the 5th China Energy Strategy Summit in Beijing, adding that the country needs to speed up nuclear power development.

China's mainland has 11 nuclear reactors at six plants, all on the east coast. They have a combined installed capacity of 9.07 million kW.

China has changed its tone on its nuclear power development policy, according to an article written by Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, in the April edition of Qiu Shi (Seeking Truth). Qiu Shi is the primary theoretical journal of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

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China should "vigorously develop nuclear power", Zhang wrote. In the 11th five-year plan (2006-2010) the diction was "actively develop nuclear power".

China should take the economic slowdown as an opportunity to adjust the energy mix, Zhou said. Coal accounts for around 70 percent of the country's total energy consumption.

"We need to develop more clean energy, including hydropower, wind power, solar power and biofuels," Zhou said.

He noted that China's installed wind power generation capacity will be increased to 20 million kW in 2010 and 100 million kW in 2020.

Zhou added that China should also invest more in developing key techniques and component parts of nuclear and wind power equipment and push ahead energy pricing reforms for energy saving and pollution reduction.

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