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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Nuclear safety improvement a priority

By Liu Yiyu (China Daily)

10:06, February 22, 2012

The construction site of the Taishan Nuclear Power Station in Guangdong province in October. China is seeking to improve safety at its nuclear power plants in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster. (Photo/China Daily)

New plan paves way for renewed expansion after Japanese disaster

BEIJING - China is seeking to improve safety at its nuclear power plants to pave the way for the industry's renewed expansion, as shown by recent statements and decisions by regulators.

The National Energy Administration has embarked on a research and development plan for nuclear safety technology, following months of assessments and inspections in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster.

The administration said in a statement on its website that 13 R&D projects should be completed by 2013, covering such issues as operational safety and the capacity to deal with extreme disasters, including earthquakes and multiple hazards.

The move will greatly increase the safety of China's advanced second-generation technology, allowing it to meet the standards set for third-generation technology.

The statement came just days after an announcement that the NEA would expand its nuclear power division.

The agency established a separate nuclear power division on Feb 14, a sign of the importance that China attaches to the sector, experts said.

China has made great efforts to improve nuclear power safety since Japan's nuclear crisis last year.

China National Nuclear Corp, the nation's largest nuclear operator, said it was developing 25 plans to improve project safety. The first 11 plans were completed in 2011, the company said. Another 13 plans calling for waterproofing, emergency response procedures and other matters will be completed by 2013, it said.

China also strengthened its nuclear supervision system and doubled the staff in the Department of Nuclear Management in the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Safety concerns arose again after a recent report that questioned the choice of location for the Pengze Nuclear Station in Jiangxi province, one of China's first inland nuclear projects, which is in the preliminary stages of construction.

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