SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A senior Chinese nuclear power executive has said the country needs to accelerate the construction of new nuclear power plants if it is to meet targets to boost its use of nuclear energy, lower pollution and cut reliance on traditional fuel sources.
He Yu, chairman of state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) said the country needed to build between four and six nuclear reactors each year until 2020, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday.
China is trying to boost its use of nuclear energy. One of its biggest state reactor builders has said the country's total installed nuclear capacity could rise to 120-150 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 from 28.3 GW in 2015.
However, China's ambitious nuclear plans have been subject to repeated delays, including a suspension of the approval process for three years from 2011 as the country carried out safety reviews in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster.
Without a faster roll-out of new third-generation nuclear reactors, He said China would fail to meet government plans to reduce emissions amid a broad crackdown on pollution.
"The pace of nuclear power projects in recent years is not in accordance with this target, and it's necessary to make sure the nuclear industry is back on track," He said at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.
The decision to move to safer but mostly untested "third-generation" nuclear reactor technology has meant several key projects have been repeatedly postponed due to design flaws.
Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Richard Pullin