China, the world’s biggest energy user, is “very likely” to resume approval of new nuclear projects in 2012 as the government completes a safety review prompted by the Fukushima disaster last year.
“The government is coming up with a revised plan for nuclear development and is very likely to resume approvals for new plants this year,” Sun Qin, president of China National Nuclear Corp., said in an interview in Beijing.
China halted new nuclear projects after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station and prompted a global review of atomic plants. China National Nuclear, the country’s biggest atomic plant builder, is maintaining equipment orders this year, Sun said.
“There was a slight pause last year, and we’re definitely continuing with our orders,” Sun said at the Great Hall of the People during the opening of the country’s legislature.
China, which started operating its first commercial nuclear plant in 1994, is building at least 27 reactors and has 50 more planned, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said Dec. 12 it has submitted new nuclear safety regulations to the State Council, or Cabinet.
--Chua Baizhen. With assistance from Guo Aibing in Hong Kong. Editors: Ryan Woo, Indranil Ghosh.
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