updated 7/15/2005 9:31:22 AM ET 2005-07-15T13:31:22

A state-owned utility plans to build 10 nuclear power plants in eastern China as the country tries to reduce its reliance on coal, a state newspaper reported Friday.

Six of the 1,000-megawatt reactors will be built in Shandong province in the east and four in Liaoning in the northeast, the China Daily said, citing Liu Changqing, a senior director of the state-owned China Power Investment Corp.

China is struggling to meet surging power demand amid economic growth that exceeds 9 percent a year, while also trying to cut its heavy reliance on dirty coal, which has left cities choked in smog.

Construction dates for the new power plants are still unknown, the China Daily said.

No decision has been made on what technology the reactors will use, Liu was quoted as saying.

China's first commercial nuclear reactor began operation in 1991.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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