Bloomberg News

China May Resume Nuclear Plant Construction, Official Says

November 18, 2011

(Updates with Xu’s comments in third paragraph.)

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- China may resume some nuclear reactor construction that was stopped earlier this year while continuing a halt on approvals of new projects amid a nationwide safety check following Japan’s Fukushima crisis, said Xu Yuming, vice secretary-general of the China Nuclear Energy Association.

Some construction may restart by the end of the year, Xu said in an interview today at a conference in Beijing. The country won’t be able to maintain its previous pace of nuclear- plant building because of the disruption, Xu said earlier. The association helps implement the nation’s atomic policies, according to its website.

“We were building new reactors more and more quickly from 2008 to 2010, and then suddenly this year there were none,” Xu said. “It’s not quite possible for us to start building at the average of eight reactors a year we saw in the last three years” during China’s 12th five-year development plan, which ends in 2015, he said.

The government of China, the world’s biggest energy user, halted approvals of atomic reactors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. The resultant radiation leak spurred a global review of nuclear development, including Germany’s decision to shut seven of its oldest facilities.

China has completed safety checks on its plants and submitted the results to the State Council, or the nation’s Cabinet, Xu said at the conference. Inspectors concluded that China’s atomic plants are not exposed to conditions that may lead to accidents similar to Fukushima, he said.

--Chua Baizhen. Editors: Christian Schmollinger, Alexander Kwiatkowski

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chua Baizhen in Beijing at bchua14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net


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