China authorities demand nuke plant halt: Report

Energy-hungry China is building 25 atomic reactors and the demand is considered highly unusual.

Beijing: Authorities in eastern China have
demanded that construction on a nuclear power station be
stopped immediately; saying residents in the quake-prone area
are in danger, state media reported on Thursday.

Energy-hungry China, eager to increase the amount of
nuclear power it uses to drive its economy, is building 25
atomic reactors and the demand is considered highly unusual.

According to the state-run Beijing News, the Wangjiang
district government in Anhui province says data from an
environmental impact assessment on construction of the power
plant in a neighbouring district was wrong.

Quoting an official document published online earlier this
week, the report said the number of people living less than 10
kilometres from the plant in Jiangxi province, which borders
Anhui, had been underestimated.

The document also pointed out that a 5.7-magnitude
earthquake hit the region in 2006 and a 4.6-magnitude tremor
rattled the same area in September.

Wangjiang officials say they are worried that "gas and
toxic liquids emitted by the plant will severely affect
residents downstream" from the site in Pengze, the report

The Pengze government has said that the claims are
"baseless", according to the report.
In a comment piece, the newspaper urged evaluation reports
on the project, approved in 2010 and where preliminary
construction work has already started, be made "public and

"The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan last
year represents a big warning," it said.
China has 14 active nuclear reactors. It aims to multiply
by five or six times the electricity it produces from nuclear
energy by 2020, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The Fukushima accident, triggered by a devastating
earthquake and tsunami, prompted a nationwide check of nuclear
facilities in China last April.