Friday, June 17, 2011

DTN News: Asia News Report: China Nuclear Safety Checks To Run Until October

Defense News: Asia News Report: China Nuclear Safety Checks To Run Until October
AFP NewsJun 17, 2011: China has finished inspecting nuclear reactors operating around the country and will complete checks on more than two dozen still under construction by October, the environment ministry has said.

The nationwide assessment of the country's nuclear facilities was launched in April after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan triggered an atomic crisis -- and sparked a worldwide rethink on atomic power.

"The consequence of (the Japanese) incident is very serious and the lesson is very profound," Vice Minister Li Ganjie said in state-media report posted on the environmental protection ministry's website this week.

While Li did not announce the results of the inspection, he told reporters on June 3 that "safety conditions ... are good".

Li stressed China was moving as quickly as the United States and European countries in inspecting its facilities.

"China is also stepping up work on a nuclear safety plan. Until the plan is approved, the Chinese government will suspend approval of new nuclear plants," Li said.

Previously China said it aimed to complete the inspection by August.

The country, whose booming economy depends on burning coal for most of its electricity generation, currently has 13 reactors and 28 more are under construction, he said.

China still plans to have more than 100 reactors by 2020, Li said.

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility was rocked by explosions, fires and radiation leaks after the March 11 quake-tsunami cut its power and caused fuel rods to heat up in the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years.

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