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Nuclear energy goal 'within reach'

By Xinhua (China Daily) Updated: 2016-01-28 08:06

China can meet its target of achieving 58 gigawatts of installed nuclear power capacity by 2020, despite slower approval for new nuclear power generators after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The government took a series of measures to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities between 2011 and 2014, including security inspections of all facilities in operation and under construction, adopting the most stringent safety standards and improving the overall system for nuclear emergency response, said Xu Dazhe, director of the China Atomic Energy Authority, at a news conference.

The Chinese mainland now has 30 nuclear power generating units in operation and a total installed capacity of 28.31 GW. In addition, it has 24 units with a total installed capacity of 26.72 GW under construction, the largest number in the world, Xu said.

The government approved the construction of eight nuclear power generating units last year. "At this rate, we can reach the goal of raising the installed nuclear power capacity to 58 GW with an additional 30 GW under construction by 2020 as planned," Xu said.

China's 54 units currently in operation and under construction are located in eight provincial-level areas including Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.

"China's nuclear power generating units are mainly along the eastern coastal areas because the development of nuclear power should meet demand first," Xu said, adding that the country's eastern region is more economically developed.

However, Xu said the government is looking into the feasibility of building inland nuclear power plants, noting that the decision should be based on the demand for energy and ensured safety.

Under its medium- and long-term development objectives, China aims to become a strong nuclear power country by 2030, according to a white paper on China's nuclear emergency preparedness issued by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.

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