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China increasing transparency on nuclear safety

DALIAN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- China will become more transparent in monitoring nuclear power plants in response to rising public awareness of nuclear safety, an environmental official said here on Thursday.

Starting this year, all of China's nuclear power plants will have their environmental impact assessment reports and safety analysis reports published online, said Zhao Yongkang, deputy director of the nuclear and radiation safety division under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Zhao made the remarks at a forum organized by the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), in the northeastern port city of Dalian. More than 350 members of the public visited seven of CGN's nuclear power bases across the country on Thursday, the company's public open day.

To steer away from reliance on coal, China has stepped up development of nuclear energy and other clean energy sources.

By the end of last year, 17 nuclear power plants were in operation in China, with a total capacity of nearly 15,000 megawatts of electricity.

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, China initiated a nationwide radiation monitoring network, with results from each monitoring site updated online each day. Meanwhile, experts have been seeking to update the results on an hourly basis, according to Zhao.

China's national legislature is also planning legislation on nuclear safety, he said.

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