China General Nuclear Power Corp. and the Guizhou government have sealed multibillion yuan agreements to build nuclear power plants in the province, the latest in a flurry of projects that signals undiminished appetite inland for the power source despite Japan’s nuclear crisis, the Huaxia Times reported Thursday.
The two parties signed a 35 billion yuan (US$5.69 billion) deal to build two nuclear projects in the southwest province by 2020, it said.
China froze approvals of nuclear projects in March, 2011 following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster but it restarted its nuclear program after an 18-month hiatus.
The governments of Jiangxi, Hunan, Liaoning, Sichuan, Chongqing, Henan, Jilin and Heilongjiang are also said to have nuclear ambitions, even though energy regulators have not given the go-ahead for nuclear plants inland.
The report said cumulative mainland demand for nuclear equipment is expected to hit 480 billion yuan from now until 2020.
Xiamen University energy economics professor Lin Boqiang was quoted as saying that nuclear projects are expected to be new economic drivers to help counter mounting local government debt left by the fall in the property market.
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