Chinese County Protests Nuclear Plant Construction

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say authorities in eastern China are demanding construction of a local nuclear-power plant be stopped permanently because residents in the earthquake-prone region are at risk.

The state-run Global Times newspaper says a campaign against the plant was launched in the Anhui provincial county of Wangjiang. The paper says the controversy had drawn nationwide attention after a report in November questioning the plant's safety was posted last week on the Internet.

The newspaper quotes critic and activist Sun Bin as saying “we all believe the plant is a time bomb.” The paper said the November critique pointed out that the facility – located in an adjacent county – sits on a seismic fault zone “with frequent occurrences of earthquakes.” The November report also said fault-zone data was not mentioned in earlier environmental impact reports.

Plant construction was suspended for further impact studies last year, after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Energy-hungry China is pressing to boost its nuclear power capacity, as its economy booms. The Global Times says six nuclear-power plants are operating in the country, with 12 others under construction. Planning is under way for 28 additional nuclear plants.