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China turns to nuclear for 2030 pledge

Reliance on coal will use up the national carbon budget, so nuclear will be needed to start reducing overall emissions

China’s reticence to abandon coal in the near-term—underscored by an official admission that its “clean and efficient use” will persist over the next five years—paves the way for balancing zero-carbon technologies. Nuclear power is therefore a prime candidate to help the world’s top polluter keep a promise to peak carbon emissions by 2030. Coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel in widespread use for power generation, looks certain to remain a major part of China’s energy mix this decade, judging by an outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP), approved last week at the annual parliamentary session in Beijing. The FYP, a policy blueprint dictating the country’s economic strategy up to 2025, did not

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