BEIJING: China is expected to push for more nuclear power plants after safety revisions on 27 under- construction reactors following last year's Fukushima disaster revealed no risks similar to the catastrophe in Japan, a top Chinese nuclear safety official said.
China has completed safety assessments on 27 nuclear power plants currently under construction and determined that they are "safe," Mr Zhang Guobao, chairperson of the advisory committee of the National Energy Administration said.
Evaluations of China's ongoing nuclear power plant projects did not reveal risks similar to those at the Fukushima plants exposed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami and they have been declared "safe", Mr Zhang said on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in China's Hainan province.
China will push forward in building more nuclear power plants "in a safe environment" to meet its energy demands, he said.
"The peaceful use of nuclear energy is a great achievement for mankind. The world now has over 440 nuclear reactors in operation, providing the equivalent of all of the world's electricity in 1960," Mr Zhang said.
China right now has 14 nuclear power plants, which produce less than two per cent of all its electricity far below the international average of 15 per cent, he said.
China produced 3.4 billion tons of coal in 2011, accounting for almost half of the global consumption.
Coal burning contributes about 83 per cent of the country's electricity, he said.
However, China is planning to expand non-fossil fuel sources of energy to 15 per cent by 2020, making nuclear power development inevitable in the country's energy restructure, Mr Zhang said.
China has ordered safety inspections of all its existing power plants and those under construction after the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year.
According to recent reports, 43 new power plants were under various stages of construction.