China declares 27 nuclear plant projects 'safe'

By Wang Zhiyong
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 2, 2012
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China has completed safety assessment on 27 nuclear power plants currently under construction and determined that they are "safe," said a high-level nuclear safety official.

Speaking Sunday at the Boao Forum for Asia on China's Hainan Island, Zhang Guobao, chairman of the advisory committee of the National Energy Administration and former head of the administration, said evaluations on the country's ongoing nuclear power plant projects did not reveal risks similar to those at the Fukushima plants exposed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

Zhang said China will push forward in building more nuclear power plants "in a safe environment" to meet its energy demands.

"The peaceful use of nuclear energy is a great achievement for mankind," he said. "The world now has over 440 nuclear reactors in operation, providing the equivalent of all of the world's electricity in 1960."

China right now has 14 nuclear power plants, which produce less than 2 percent of all its electricity – far below the international average of 15 percent.

In 2011, China produced 3.4 billion tons of coal, accounting for almost half of the global consumption. Coal burning contributes about 83 percent of the country's electricity.

However, China is planning to expand non-fossil fuel sources of energy to 15 percent by 2020, making nuclear power development inevitable in the country's energy restructure, Zhang said.

As for right now, Zhang said China's cooperation with Russia has seen smooth progress. The oil pipeline from Russia to China has an annul output of 15 million tons. China also imported 180 million tons of coal from Russia in 2011, making it China's fourth largest coal supplier and closing up on number three.

China also reaches an agreement with Russia about a purchase of 2.6 billion kwh electricity from Russia. What's more, China is planning to incorporate Russia's nuclear reactors to build two new nuclear power plants.

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