The deadline to develop a new design of nuclear power plant has been brought forward by 15 years as the central government tries to reduce the nation's reliance on smog-producing coal-fired power stations.
A team of scientists in Shanghai had originally been given 25 years to try to develop the world's first nuclear plant using the radioactive element thorium as fuel rather than uranium, but they have now been told they have 10, the researchers said.
"In the past the government was interested in nuclear power because of the energy shortage. Now they are more interested because of smog," said Professor Li Zhong, a scientist working on the project.
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