BEIJING: Thousands of people took to the streets of a city in eastern China to protest against a possible Sino-French nuclear project, residents said Monday, as local police denied beating demonstrators. Residents in Lianyungang, 480 kilometers (300 miles) north of Shanghai, shouted slogans and waved banners outside government offices at the weekend to complain about the health impacts of a suggested nuclear waste processing plant. “There were several thousand people,” a hotel worker who declined to be named told AFP by telephone. Another local surnamed Xu described “clashes between police and protesters”. French nuclear fuel group Areva in 2012 agreed to cooperate with state-run China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to build a reprocessing facility in China, without stating the location. Locals say that Lianyungang, a port city in Jiangsu province, is a prime candidate, because a large new nuclear power station is being built by CNNC nearby.