BEIJING, July 13 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
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
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
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
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu and Ding Qi; Additional reporting by
Clement Tan in Hong Kong; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)