China’s plan to build a $6b uranium processing plant in the southern province of Guangdong was canceled after about a thousand people took to the streets demanding the project was scrapped over public health and environmental fears, Reuters reported.
Beijing plans to plough tens of billions of dollars into the construction of dozens of nuclear power projects across the country by 2020. But the recent outcry highlighted growing skepticism in China over official assurances about safety following a series of food and pollution scandals.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, Beijing cut its 2020 nuclear power capacity target to 58 GW from 80-90 GW. But the new nuclear goal still represents a nearly four-fold increase from the current capacity and makes China the world’s largest nuclear market. China has 15 nuclear reactors currently in service.
Meanwhile, two state-owned companies plan to develop floating nuclear reactors, a technology engineers have been considering since the 1970s for use by oil rigs or island communities. Beijing is racing Russia, which started developing its own in 2007, to get a unit into commercial operation, wrote ABC News.