China considers replacing nuclear capacity with solar



The fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster looks set to continue after an official from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) revealed the government was planning to cut its 2020 target for nuclear power capacity. China’s previously-announced nuclear capacity of 80GW may be scaled back, with solar energy coming in to fill the void, reports Bloomberg.

Ren Dongmin, director of the NDRC, announced the cuts at a Beijing conference on Thursday. Although Dongmin did not provide an exact figure for the reduction, he did say that solar capacity would be increased beyond its current 2020 target of 20GW.

Radiation leaks from the crippled Fukushima power plant following Japan’s catastrophic March 11 earthquake have prompted countries to review their nuclear strategies. Public health worries escalated in China in the weeks following the accident, and although the government has since released readings dispelling these fears, concerns over nuclear power remain.

Yu Jun, a deputy head of the ministry’s department of nuclear safety management, has indicated that the Ministry of Environmental Protection and National Nuclear Safety Administration may carry out a nationwide inspection which will last several months.

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