China cancels $6 bln uranium project after protest

BEIJING, July 13 Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:31am EDT

BEIJING, July 13 (Reuters) - China has cancelled plans to build a uranium processing plant in a southern Chinese city a day after hundreds of protesters took to the streets demanding the project be scrapped, a local government website said on Saturday.

The proposed 230-hectare complex in the heart of China's Pearl River delta industrial heartland in Guangdong province had also sparked unease in neighbouring Hong Kong and Macau.

Authorities in the gambling enclave had formally raised the issue with their Guangdong counterparts, the South China Morning Post reported.

A one-line statement published on the Heshan city government's website said that "to respect people's desire, the Heshan government will not propose the CNNC project". State-run China National Nuclear Corporation had planned to build the 37 billion yuan ($6 billion) project.

CNNC officials could not be reached for comment.

The surprisingly swift decision to cancel the project came after hundreds marched to city offices on Friday that forced officials to pledge an extension of public consultation by 10 days. Locals had planned more protests on Sunday.

Chinese authorities are becoming increasingly sensitive to local protests over environmental issues, having cancelled, postponed or relocated several major petrochemical and metals plants.

Guangdong is one of the country's largest nuclear power bases, already running five nuclear reactors and building another dozen, incorporating technologies from companies like French Areva and Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Ding Qi; Additional reporting by Clement Tan in Hong Kong; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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Comments (6)
Doc64 wrote:
It’s a relief to learn that China’s government is taking a much more conservative approach to environmental responsibility; now, if they could only convince the Japanese.

Jul 13, 2013 7:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ArchibaldB wrote:
Hardly likely! More likely that 1) the Chinese government doesn’t got the cash needed and/or 2) they hadn’t manage to steal the needed technology from the West!

Jul 13, 2013 7:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
blindnfair wrote:
@arch. First, if China doesn’t have the cash, who does. It’s only 6 billion dollars. Secondly, read the damn article before posting such a stupid comment. Article clearly states Guangdong already has 5 active nuclear plant so why would they need to “steal” anymore technology if they already have it? Plus, article also states they are using technology from France and Westinghouse from Japan’s Toshiba company!

Stop being ignorant.. China is advancing real quick (think their space program)

Jul 13, 2013 11:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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