Sino - French Nuclear Project future hangs in uncertainty
BEIJING: (APP) A Chinese city said Wednesday it would halt preparations for a possible Sino-French nuclear project after thousands of locals protested against it over the weekend, the latest official concession following environmental demonstrations.
After days of protests by angry residents, the government of Lianyungang said on a verified microblog that it would "temporarily suspend" selection of a location for a nuclear fuel processing plant.
Thousands of people massed outside government offices over the weekend, calling for the project to be cancelled on health grounds, and clashing with police, locals said.
French nuclear fuel group Areva in 2012 agreed to cooperate with state-run China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to build a reprocessing facility in China, without stating the location.
Locals say that Lianyungang, a port city in the eastern province of Jiangsu, is a prime candidate, because a large new nuclear power station is being built by CNNC nearby.
Mainland China has 34 nuclear power reactors in operation, 20 under construction, and work is about to start on more, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Safety fears grew following a series of meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011 that were intensely covered by China's state-run media.