China to forge ahead with nuclear power plans

Updated: 2014-01-28 17:21


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China is pressing ahead with its plans to resume nuclear power plant approvals to combat air pollution and improve the nation's energy structure, the National Energy Administration said on Tuesday.

More measures will be steadily introduced this year to promote the construction of nuclear power plants in coastal areas, while ensuring the safety of inland nuclear power plants, the administration said in its annual work plan.

The plan aims to cut coal consumption in the northern areas spanning Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin by a combined 17 million metric tons in 2014, said China's top energy planning agency.

China's coal output is expected to be about 3.8 billion tons in 2014, an increase of 1.6 percent from 2013, the agency said.

As the world's largest energy user tries to reduce its reliance on coal and focus more on clean energy, China is stepping up efforts to shift to nuclear power and other forms of energy generation that create less air pollution.

The nation has 20 reactors in use and another 28 under construction. It has around 150 domestic reactors either under construction, planned or proposed - more than one-third of the 435 nuclear reactors operating commercially around the globe, according to the World Nuclear Association.