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China to suspend new nuclear plant approvals

Updated: 2011-06-15 17:27
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China is drafting a nuclear safety plan and before its approval the Chinese government will suspend endorsement for any new nuclear power plants, said Li Ganjie, deputy minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, China.com.cn reported Tuesday.

Li on June 10 met the United States Department of Energy's assistant secretary for nuclear energy, Peter Lyons, in Beijing. Both parties exchanged views regarding the influence of Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis and strengthening energy cooperation between China and the United States.

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Li said China is greatly concerned by the Japanese crisis and immediately arranged for safety checks of all nuclear facilities in the aftermath of the disaster. Now China is drafting a nuclear safety plan and all new nuclear projects will not get approval until the plan is ratified.

China owns 13 nuclear generators that are in commercial operation and 28 that are under construction. It is expected that by 2020 there will be more than 100 generators, according to Li.

China has also established a nuclear safety management system including both central and local nuclear safety checking networks, and technical support units, he added.

Lyons complimented the Chinese government on its immediate reaction and judgment shown after the crisis outbreak. He also raised two issues regarding nuclear safety: one is the reliability and completeness of the instrumentation and control equipments; the other is the protection of emergency facilities in nuclear plants.