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China Daily Website

Govt academy advises boosting nuclear power

Updated: 2012-05-31 13:21
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - A Chinese government-sponsored academy has advised increasing the country's installed capacity of nuclear power generation to 60-70 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, local media reported Thursday.

The elite Chinese Academy of Engineering suggests the government add 30 GW of newly installed capacity by 2020 on top of the 2015 total, which is expected to reach 40 GW, the Beijing-based China Securities News said, quoting unnamed sources.

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 newspaper quoted an unidentified official with the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) as saying.

The Chinese government suspended approvals for new nuclear power projects after an earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, severely damaged nuclear power facilities and kicked off a leakage scare.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, will soon discuss plans on nuclear power safety and development, and the government might resume approval procedures if the plans are passed, SNPTC Chairman Wang Binghua said early this month.

Such discussions have not been held yet, the unnamed SNPTC official told the newspaper.

Despite the halt to new project approvals, the unnamed official said construction is underway 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 percent of China's total energy supply in 2007, but the country has planned to raise that proportion to 5 percent by 2020 and 10 percent by 2030.