China not to change plan for nuclear power projects

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China will not change its plan for developing nuclear power projects but will learn a lesson after a massive earthquake in Japan resulted in a radioactive leakage, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Zhang Lijun said Saturday.

"China has 13 sets of functional nuclear power equipment and tests have shown all of them are safe," Zhang told a press conference on the sidelines of the national parliamentary session in Beijing.

China is "keeping a close eye" on the development of the earthquake's impact on Japan's nuclear facilities, he said.

"Some lessons we learn from Japan will be considered in the making of China's nuclear power plans," he said. "But China will not change its determination and plan for developing nuclear power."

From 2011 to 2015, China will launch nuclear energy projects with a combined generation capacity of 40 million kw, according to the government's draft 12th Five-Year Plan published one week ago.

In addition to boosting the construction of nuclear power plants in the coastal areas, new plants will be planned in central regions.

Zhang Lijun said China had been monitoring in coastal cities the possible influence of nuclear leaks from Japan and the tests showed China had not been affected so far.

A radioactive substances leak was detected Saturday at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., after Japan's largest-ever earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Friday, according to Japanese nuclear safety agency.

At Fukushima's No. 1 plant, the amount of radiation reached 1,000 times the regular level in the operating room, the agency said and the No. 2 plant is set to release pressure in containers housing nuclear reactors that could result in the leak of radioactive substances.

Also on Saturday, the Japanese government issued an evacuation order for residents in the vicinity of Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.

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