Beijing: China plans to build 200 new nuclear power plants and speed up the construction of 29 more as part of efforts to cut the high level of emissions generated by the large-scale use of coal.

China’s demand for nuclear plants will reach 200, with four to six new projects being approved annually before 2015, said Jian Jingwen, deputy head of the equipment department at the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.

The number will touch 10 plants every year after 2020, Jian was quoted as saying by state-run China Daily.

China plans to increase nuclear power generation capacity from 10.7 gigawatts in 2010 to 160 gigawatts in 2040, the report said.

China is also strengthening its efforts to develop clean energy. When it comes to finding a solution to China’s air pollution problem, experts and environmental officials are unanimous in their belief that nuclear power is the way to go even though misgivings remain, the report said.

China will also account for 40% of the global net increase in nuclear capacity between 2010 and 2040, the report said, quoting an international energy outlook released by the US Energy Information Administration.

A total of 29 atomic plants are being built after the Chinese government lifted a ban imposed after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan.

Nuclear energy is preferred as China is unable to bring down the high pollution levels generated by excessive use of coal in most manufacturing units, officials say.

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