Commentary: World should safely, peacefully use nuclear energy

09:16, April 16, 2010      

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When the theoretical physicist Albert Einstein proposed the celebrated mass-energy relation, he would not have expected that the formula would bring out a devastating weapon 40 years later.

He even didn't know that after 105 years, leaders and representatives from 47 countries and international organization would hold a summit on nuclear security issues.

Since its discovery, nuclear technology has been a "double-edged sword." It brings clean power with unlimited potential to the world and also raises potential threats of nuclear terrorism. Nuclear pollution and nuclear leaks are also endangering human life.

Questions on how to properly handle nuclear energy have drawn worldwide attention. Facts show that safety is the priority in using nuclear power.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, nuclear power demand has increased considerably and the nuclear industry has witnessed a strong momentum of development. At the same time nuclear security is facing increasing challenges.

One of those challenges is how to properly handle nuclear materials. According to the IAEA, the number of cases of nuclear materials lost or stolen climbed to 1,500 between 1993 and 2008.

And how to guarantee the safe operation of nuclear power plants is another challenge that cannot be ignored. Though the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants has been improved as the technology advanced, risks of nuclear accidents remain. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 in the former Soviet Union reminds people to never loosen nuclear security management.

Nuclear security is not an isolated issue. Chinese President Hu Jintao said at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington that nuclear security hinges on whether countries can honor their commitments and responsibilities, consolidate the existing international legal framework on nuclear security, and strengthen international cooperation.

Developed countries that possess most of the nuclear materials and the most advanced nuclear technology should help developing countries on economy, technology and human resources to facilitate security around the world.

Developing countries should not be deprived of the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Nuclear safety should be the first priority for these countries.

Nuclear energy is one of the most important energies for humans in the future. The world community can safely control the "double-edged sword" and contribute to the world's enduring peace and common prosperity as long as countries work closely based on the principles of protecting mankind's common interests and mutual benefits.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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