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Protests

Chinese city cancels plans to build uranium processing plant

Chinese authorities have canceled a plan to build a uranium-processing plant. The move follows protests by local residents against the proposal.

Picture of protest in Jiangmen on 12 July 2013. Photo: Junwei.

Proteste in Jiangmen

The announcement that the planned project was being scrapped came in a one-line statement posted on a municipal website on Saturday.

"The people's government of the city of Heshan has decided to respect the public opinion and will not consider the project by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) at the Longwan industrial park," the statement said.

There was no immediate comment from CNNC officials.

The decision was announced a day after hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Heshan, which is located in the greater Jiangmen area of Guangdong province, to protest against the plan. Many of the demonstrators held banners and wore T-shirts with statements opposing the uranium plant plans.

"Give us back our rural homes. We are against nuclear radiation," some shouted in footage seen by a reporter for the Associated Press.

Although such a climb-down may be rare, it is not the first time that Chinese authorities have canceled a major industrial project in the face of public outcry. Two years ago, demonstrations led the northeastern city of Dalian to cancel plans to build a chemical plant. In 2007 the coastal city of Xiamen canceled similar plans after thousands of people took to the streets.

pfd/mkg (AFP, Reuters, AP)