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China approves record number of nuclear power units since Fukushima

(Global Times)    13:53, January 27, 2016

The State Council approved the construction of eight nuclear power units in 2015, the highest number since the Fukushima accident in 2011.

The Chinese mainland now has 30 nuclear power units in operation, 24 under construction, and others planned, according to a report by news website thepaper.cn on Tuesday.

Yuan Changhong, spokesman for the China Nuclear Power Engineering Company, said at a conference on Tuesday in Shenzhen that China Nuclear Power Engineering Company alone has built four nuclear power units in 2015 with a total installed capacity of 14.65 million kilowatts.

The company now has 16 nuclear power units in use, which made it the world's largest nuclear power plant builder in 2015.

The country has a combined annual power generation capacity of 5.618 trillion kilowatts, and nuclear power accounts for 168.9 billion kilowatts, or 3.01 percent, of the total, the China Nuclear Energy Association reported in January.

The Chinese government put brakes on nuclear power plant approvals after the deadly Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011, calling for stricter safety checks on nuclear power plants. The government restarted approval procedures in 2012 under the pressure of increasing domestic demand for power.

Zhou Dadi, vice director of the China Energy Research Society, told the Global Times earlier that China is in a great position to develop its nuclear projects as the country has accumulated advanced technology and valuable experience in nuclear power plant construction.

But some experts have expressed concerns over the rapid expansion of nuclear power plants.

He Zuoxiu, a theoretical physicist at the Chinese Academy of Science, told the Global Times earlier that China has yet to implement enough measures to develop safety control technology and facilities for nuclear power plants.

He said the government should attach greater importance to other clean energy sources such as wind and hydropower, which are abundant in China.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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