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China's new nuke plants may get approval soon

August 12, 2011 - Washington

China has concluded a nationwide safety inspection of its nuclear plants in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis, an indication that it is getting closer towards securing approvals for new nuclear plants, a China Nuclear Energy Association website has claimed.

The China Daily quoted the notice, as saying that the inspection group consisting of the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), the National Energy Administration and China Earthquake Administration had started a national safety check on nuclear plants that are under construction and in operation on April 15.

China had suspended approvals of new nuclear plants on March 16 following the devastating earthquake-cum-tsunami in Japan that affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant immensely.

"The inspection, which was completed at least one month earlier than expected, could be an indication that China has no major safety issue in its current plants," Xiao Xinjian, industry expert at the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, said.

According to Lin Chengge, former Deputy Director of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), China is likely to issue a safety plan at the end of this month to resume nuclear plant approvals.

These results are also expected to serve as the basis for China to adjust its nuclear development program, though experts expected no dramatic change of the plan.

The country had a total of 10.82 gigawatts of nuclear capacity at the end of 2010.


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