President Xi confident of China's nuclear power future
Updated: 2015-01-15 20:57
BEIJING - President Xi Jinping on Thursday pledged that China will sharpen the competitive edge of its nuclear industry, which has seen healthy growth over the past six decades.
The country will adhere to peaceful and safe use of nuclear power, said Xi in written comments marking the 60th anniversary of the beginning of China's nuclear projects.
Nuclear industry is "an important foundation for national security", Xi said.
The industry has contributed a lot to economic development and national security, he said.
Currently China has 22 operational nuclear power units, with a total generation capacity of 20.1 million kw, while 26 are under construction, which -- once operational -- will have an additional capacity of 28 million kw.
Premier Li Keqiang commented that the government encouraged domestic nuclear power equipment producers to explore the overseas market.
The government will keep a close eye on the safety of nuclear facilities and related policies, Li said.
"We will work hard to build the country into a powerful nuclear industry player," he said.
In January 1955, China kicked off a number of nuclear projects. In 1964, the country successfully tested its first A-bomb and then the first H-bomb in 1967.
Since the late 1970s, the focus of nuclear projects shifted to civilian use. In 1991, the first nuclear power plant started operation in east China's Zhejiang Province.