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March 16, 2011

China suspends all new nuclear plants, orders safety review

In a dramatic reversal, China’s State Council, or cabinet, announced Wednesday that it was suspending approval for all new nuclear power plants until the government could issue revised safety rules, in light of the unfolding crisis at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan.

I will bet that China will not cancel nuclear reactors. Also note that construction work hasn't been suspended. It is a pause in licensing and ordering new reactors. Taking some time to perform a review and have some new safety rules need not slow the shift from dangerous coal plants to safer nuclear plants. Any design or safety adjustments that actually improve safety can and should be implemented.

This goes for all buildings, energy infrastructure and processes.

There were towns that were washed away. More lives could be saved by avoiding building and even moving people from towns in dangerous areas.

There were four trains that were washed away. Is there going to be a review to make trains more Tsunami resistant ? More lives were lost.


The State Council, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, also announced the government would conduct safety checks at the country’s existing nuclear facilities and those under construction, according to a brief statement issued after the meeting and reported by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

“We will temporarily suspend approval of nuclear power projects, including those in the preliminary stages of development,” the statement said.

With 13 nuclear reactors in operation, at least 26 others under construction, and more in the planning stage, China has by far the world’s most ambitious nuclear power program.

But the disaster at Fukushima across the East China Sea has riveted the Chinese public, prompting a debate for the first time over the country’s growing reliance on nuclear power for its energy needs and causing panic on China’s southeastern coast, closest to Japan.

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