Beijing, March 6 (IANS) China will “safely and effectively” develop nuclear power, Premier Wen Jiabao has said in a report to the top legislature.
In his report submitted to the 5th session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) Monday, Wen said the government would optimise the energy structure, promote the clean and efficient use of traditional energy sources, Xinhua reported.
The government would safely and effectively develop nuclear power, and increase the share of new and renewable energy in the country’s total energy consumption, he added.
It was the first time that the issue was addressed in a government report.
On March 11, 2011, Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan aroused concerns in China about the safety of country’s nuclear power stations, leading to suspension of the start of construction on four nuclear reactors.
Yang Qi, president of the Nuclear Power Institute of China and a political advisor, said Monday that the country should not stop nuclear power projects out of safety concerns, following surging demand in energy consumption for economic growth.
“We should have full confidence in the safety of nuclear power,” Yang said during panel discussions with other political advisors.
The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) also mentions nuclear power, saying that it will be developed more efficiently under the precondition of ensuring safety.
Nuclear power currently accounts for a very small proportion of China’s energy structure but will remain an important part of the country’s future energy requirements, according to Zhang Guobao, former director of the China National Energy Bureau.
According to the latest nuclear power development plan made by the National Development and Reform Commission, over 70 nuclear power reactors will be in operation by 2020, accounting for five percent of the country’s total energy capacity.
In 2050, the total capacity of China’s nuclear power reactors will reach 400 million KW.