April 13, 2011 / 8:29 AM / in 7 years

China may freeze nuclear approvals until 2012 - paper

BEIJING, April 13 (Reuters) - China’s suspension of nuclear project approvals, put in place in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, could last until 2012, according to an industry official.

The State Council, or cabinet, suspended approvals of new nuclear projects on March 16, days after Japan’s quake-ravaged nuclear complex triggered radiation worries worldwide, especially in neighbouring China. [ID:nTOE72F088]

The government’s announcement did not specify how long the freeze would last.

“China’s nuclear development will slow during the next two to three years,” Feng Yi, deputy secretary-general of the China Nuclear Energy Association, was cited by the Financial Times as saying.

But Feng said the country’s nuclear strategy would not change in the medium and long term.

China is building about 28 reactors, roughly 40 percent of the global total under construction, and the central government has fast-tracked approvals in the past two years.

The China Energy Bureau, the country’s top nuclear planning agency, was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Don Durfee and Sally Huang; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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