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Chinese experts call for inland nuclear power plants

Updated: 2014-05-14 21:42
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese experts are suggesting inland regions as likely locations for new nuclear power plants for both safety and resource reasons.

"Inland nuclear power plants have the same safety standards as their coastal counterparts," said Pan Ziqiang with the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), Wednesday at a forum on the sustainable development of nuclear power.

Chinese nuclear power plants, including those under construction, are all located in coastal areas, while almost half of nuclear power plants in the world are inland.

CAE academician Ye Qizhen noted that nuclear power plants might benefit the inland as they offer an energy alternative for many regions, especially coal-rich provinces with environmental problems.

"Inland or coastal locations for nuclear power plants have no difference. What matters are the capacity requirements and hydrological and environmental factors," Pan said.

According to Pan, the density and distribution of populations in the adjacent areas are the crucial factors that determine the effectiveness and feasibility of an emergency safety plan for a power plant.

China currently has 19 nuclear power units with a total capacity of 17 million kilowatts. In the first quarter of this year, they generated 26 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, or 2.04 percent of the country's total.