China said today it would end a moratorium on building nuclear plants it imposed following the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year.
The state council said it had reviewed and improved safety precautions at nuclear power stations and their construction would resume "steadily" as part of China's ambitious bid to end its reliance on fossil fuels.
The latest five-year energy plan said renewable sources - predominantly hydro, wind, solar and nuclear power - would account for 30 per cent of the country's energy needs by 2015.
An over-reliance on coal for fuel is blamed for poor air quality in many Chinese cities, while the government deems oil a security risk as imports can be cut off.
Ministers insisted clean energy would provide the bulk of renewable capacity and that only "a small number" of nuclear plants would be built, all in coastal areas - but activists argue that nuclear power is always dangerous.
And anti-nuclear campaigners weren't the only ones worrying as the plan also calls for increased private investment in the sector.
"All projects listed in the national energy programme except those forbidden by laws or regulations are open to private capital," the plan says.
Energy is overwhelmingly publicly owned and supplied in China.
But the State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission said today it planned to "lower the thresholds" for private firms to get involved, though only through minority stakes.
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