China Clean-energy projects get go-ahead

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Construction of two nuclear projects and one hydropower station has been approved by the government as China pushes ahead with clean energy development amid sluggish economic growth.

An executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang approved the projects on Wednesday to offer new incentives amid slowing economic growth.

The approvals will also help the country fulfill its commitment on climate change.

According to experts, China is poised to achieve economic growth of about 6.9 percent this year, barely meeting the government’s annual target of around 7 percent. The growth rate is the slowest for 25 years.

The meeting approved the Wudongde hydropower station on the Jinsha River on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, part of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

The two nuclear projects are both in coastal areas, one in Fangchenggang in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, using third-generation technology, and the other in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.

A statement released after the meeting said construction of the three projects is an important measure to sustain economic expansion and restructure the country’s energy sector.

“Projects in line with current security standards and national strategies should be approved soon,” it added.

Strict management is required for the nuclear projects to ensure high security standards during construction, as well as proper handling of the ecological impact, water pollution and the resettlement of residents in the affected areas.

China has 22 nuclear reactors in operation and 26 under construction, according to the National Energy Administration. It plans to have more than 110 operational nuclear reactors by 2030.

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