Beijing: China, which suspended approvals for new nuclear plans following the radiation crisis in a Japanese plant, would soon begin the approval process.
   
China could resume the approval process for new nuclear power projects by mid-2012.   
"To restart the approval procedure in one year is the optimistic estimate, but the country will definitely lift the suspension in two years," Director of the research centre of the China Nuclear Energy Association Zheng Yuhui said.
   
Zheng's comment came almost three months after the country suspended the procedure following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which resulted in disastrous damages to nuclear power facilities and caused leak scare.
   
Zheng said there is no doubt that China will continue to develop its nuclear power industry more efficiently in coming years and the government's policy for the development of nuclear power has not altered.
   
But Zheng warned that the country needs to control the pace of development and ensure the safety of projects.
   
The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant might delay some new projects in China, but it will not stop the country from achieving its target of building 70 to 80 gigawatts (gW) of installed production capacity by the end of 2020, Shen Wenquan, a member of the expert committee of the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp Ltd said.
   
"The growing demand for power in developing countries requires China to choose nuclear power.
   
"The government is working on producing a safety plan for the industry and it will take some time to raise the safety standards and make the necessary adjustments," he said.
   
China, which currently has 13 nuclear reactors, froze approvals of nuclear projects on March 16 following Japan's nuclear crisis to conduct review of safety procedures.
   
Also, work was halted at 25 new plants which are under construction to review the safety procedures to withstand high intensity earthquakes.

(Agencies)