Thu, 31 May 2012 10:42:16 GMT

China looks for more nuclear power despite safety fears

Beijing: China is looking to ramp up its nuclear power production in a big way despite safety concerns triggered by the Fukoshima disaster in Japan, with a government-sponsored academy advocating an increase of up to 70 gigawatts (GW) in the installed capacity of atomic power generation by 2020.

China looks for more nuclear power despite safety fears

The Chinese Academy of Engineering suggested to the government that 30 GW of newly installed capacity should be added by 2020 in addition to 40 GW expected to be ready by 2015, Beijing-based China Securities News said.

China had originally proposed a goal of bringing its nuclear power installed capacity to 80 GW by 2020, but has reduced estimates on the installed capacity to around 70 GW amid safety concerns triggered by the nuclear crisis in Japan.

The Chinese government suspended approvals for new nuclear power projects after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, severely damaging its nuclear power facilities.

China's Cabinet will soon discuss plans on nuclear power safety and development, and may resume approval procedures if the plans are passed, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation Chairman Wang Binghua said recently.

Despite the halt to new project approvals, officials said construction is under way as planned on 28 nuclear power generation units in China with a combined installed capacity of 30.79 GW.

Nuclear power accounted for 1.2 per cent of China's total energy supply in 2007, but the country planned to raise that proportion to 5 per cent by 2020 and 10 per cent by 2030.

Source: PTI

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