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China still needs nuclear power

20 May 2011

BEIJING, May 20 (Bernama) -- China, one of the world's largest energy consumers, should continue developing nuclear power in the future, but must also be vigilant about choosing appropriate sites for nuclear power plants, Xinhua news agency reported quoting an expert as saying on Friday.

"We should carefully examine all possible nuclear power plant sites. We will only use sites that haven't been hit by earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater over the last 1,000 years," Xu Kuangdi, former president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at an energy forum held in Beijing.

Xu said that China's quakes are different from those that have occurred in Japan and Indonesia because of the way they move, adding that China is safe from quake-triggered tsunamis.

Nuclear power accounted for 1.2 percent of China's total energy supply in 2007. China originally planned to raise the number to 5 percent by 2020 and 10 percent by 2030.

However, Japan's recent nuclear crisis has triggered questions about the safety of nuclear power stations. China has said that it will suspend approval for new plants until it can improve the industry's safety standards.