Chinese Public Against Nuclear Energy

Tuesday, 30 July, 2013

A Reuters report has revealed that Chinese public perceptions in of nuclear energy in China are highly negative. “A plan to build a $6 billion uranium processing plant in the southern province of Guangdong was cancelled this week after about a thousand people took to the streets demanding the project was scrapped over public health and environmental fears”, the report says. China is the world largest nuclear energy market, aiming for a capacity of 58 gigawatts (Britain aims to have 16 gigawatts in comparison). Yet this figure is a drastic cut back from the previous aim of 80 – 90 gigwatts, a fall resulting from the Fukushima disaster.

The report blames poor communication skills from the Chinese government as the prime culprit for the protests. “Power industry executives say that the Chinese state-run nuclear power companies and local governments lack the communication skills to reassure the public at a time of heightened fears about safety.” This may be very true, but one must also sympathize with the Chinese people’s fears; their rapidly assembled infrastructure is laden with faults with collapsing bridges and lethal trains, they have every reason to be cynical. “Critics say unsupervised local governments have been pushing for economic growth at the expense of the environment and public health.” The fall in the Chinese Uranium market is a further blow to Uranium which has suffered hugely from the Fukushima crisis.