Residents of a city in eastern China have protested for a third day against possible plans to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing center, as police banned public gatherings in hopes of preventing more demonstrations.

An employee at city hall in Lianyungang, north of Shanghai, said protesters gathered Monday and some were detained, but he had no details. He gave only his surname, Zhang.

On Tuesday, police announced a ban on unauthorized gatherings and told the public to disregard rumors.

Thousands of people protested Saturday and Sunday after rumors spread that a state company planned to build the nuclear facility in Lianyungang. The city has one of China's biggest nuclear power stations.

In response to the protests, the city government said Sunday plans for a nuclear facility still were being studied.