December 13, 2011 / 12:32 AM / in 6 years

China approves nuclear safety plan -reports

BEIJING, Dec 13 (Reuters) - China has approved a five-year nuclear safety plan, local media reported on Tuesday, potentially removing a big hurdle to Chinese nuclear power projects.

The Chinese Securities Journal said the plan would soon be approved by China’s cabinet, the State Council. No details were disclosed.

Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in March led China to delay all nuclear project approvals, but Chinese energy officials have said the country would continue to develop nuclear power to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2011-2015 nuclear safety plan, which covers rules from reactors to uranium mining, is a prelude to China’s widely anticipated nuclear development plan, which is currently being drafted.

The global nuclear industry is eager to see whether Beijing will adjust its 2020 nuclear capacity targets.

China originally planned to increase its nuclear capacity to over 80 gigawatts by 2020, up from 10.9 gigawatts at the end 2010, but fears about safety standards in the wake of Japan’s nuclear accident forced Beijing to revise the plans.

Beijing has since launched a nationwide inspection of all nuclear sites, including reactors in operation and those under construction, and is drawing up new industry guidelines.

The China Securities Journal said the nationwide security check had been completed. (Reporting by Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner and Ken Wills)

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