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Exam, approval of nuke power projects expected to resume this year

(Xinhua)

15:56, March 10, 2012

BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is likely to resume the examination and approval of nuclear power station projects this year, an industry leader said here on Saturday.

"In my opinion, the Chinese government will resume the examination and approval this year," said Wang Binghua, chairman of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation Ltd. (SNPTC).

Wang is also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.

China suspended the approval of new nuclear power projects and launched a nationwide safety inspection at nuclear power stations and facilities in operation and under construction over safety concerns after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

During safety inspections on nuclear power stations and other facilities that have been completed, inspectors found 14 problems that need to be rectified and improved, Wang said.

"Some of the problems have been solved and the rest will be resolved within three years," Wang told reporters at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing CPPCC annual session.

It is necessary for China to build nuclear power stations in the hinterland regions, particularly the central regions that cover Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces, he said.

These hinterland provinces are in dire need for developing nuclear power to meet the soaring electricity demand because they all lack energy resources such as coal, oil and gas, he added.

Wang said the standard for the design of nuclear power stations in the hinterland will be the same with those in coastal areas, but the requirements on discharge and emission will be much stricter.

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