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China set to OK new nuke plants, ending moratorium

BEIJING--China said Wednesday that it is ready to approve new nuclear power plants as part of ambitious plans to reduce reliance on oil and coal, ending a moratorium imposed after Japan's Fukushima disaster last year.

The government said it hopes to generate 30 percent of China's power from solar, wind and other renewable as well as nuclear energy sources by the end of 2015. That's up from an earlier target of 15 percent from renewables plus 5 percent from nuclear by 2020.

The Communist government is aggressively promoting wind, solar, hydro and other alternative energy sources to curb surging reliance on imported oil, which it sees as a national security risk.

The Cabinet on Wednesday passed plans on nuclear power safety and development that said construction of nuclear power plants would resume “steadily.”

Only a small number of plants would be built, and just in coastal areas, according to a Cabinet announcement about the plans. The plants would meet the most stringent safety standards, it said.

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