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'China confirms nuclear safety after quake'

world Updated: May 18, 2008 13:08 IST
AFP
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China has examined and confirmed the safety of nuclear power reactors after an earthquake that killed an estimated 50,000 people, the state-run Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

China's nuclear facilities "were confirmed safe and controllable after careful scrutiny" following last Monday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake, the official agency said, quoting government sources.

China has 11 nuclear reactors, mostly in coastal areas, accounting for less than two per cent of the country's total energy production.

But the country has been looking to expand nuclear power to stem rising pollution and compensate for its reliance on coal, which was shown to be risky last winter when heavy snowstorms cut off supply.

An earthquake last year in Japan stopped operation of the world's largest nuclear facility northwest of Tokyo and caused a small radioactive leak.