China Resumes Construction of Nuclear Power Plants

Posted October 25th, 2012 at 3:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

China is lifting a ban on new nuclear power plants that was imposed after Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, but says only plants in coastal areas will be approved.

China's State Council decided Wednesday to allow “a small number” of coastal nuclear power stations to be built before 2015, promising they will meet international safety standards.

The government says it has conducted “comprehensive and stringent” security checks that prove “the safety of China's nuclear power is guaranteed.”

It suspended approvals of new nuclear plants after an earthquake-triggered tsunami caused a series of meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima power plant in March 2011.

The government said Wednesday that the construction of nuclear power plants will resume “in a steady and orderly way” and “at a reasonable pace.” It did not say when the construction would begin.

China, the world's largest energy consumer, has looked to nuclear power to help reduce its reliance on coal and oil. It currently has 15 nuclear reactors. At least 26 others are under construction.

China also reduced its total nuclear energy capacity target on Wednesday to 40 gigawatts by 2015. That is down from a previous target of 50 gigawatts.