China suspended approval March 16 of 28 planned nuclear power plants while it revised safety standards, the New York Times reported. The announcement reportedly came after Premier Wen Jiabao met with top advisers to discuss Japan’s nuclear crisis.

The government said it was also requiring safety checks at all existing plants.

“We must fully grasp the importance and urgency of nuclear safety, and development of nuclear power must make safety the top priority,” the government was quoted as saying on its Web site.

Three days ago, before the gravity of the nuclear disaster in Japan was clear, a top Chinese official restated China’s commitment to nuclear power.

Officials have said that 28 new nuclear plants had been approved, which would amount to roughly 40 percent of the plants now planned worldwide.

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