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Peaceful use of nuclear power still strategically important: CNNC head

By Cao Xiaofan, Chenyi, Gaolu (Xinhua)

08:13, March 26, 2012

SEOUL, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Fukushima nuke accident can not thoroughly repudiate the safety of nuclear power, and a safe and peaceful use of nuclear power technologies is still an strategically important solution to tackle energy issues in the future, Sun Qin, president of China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC), the nation's largest atomic plant operator, said here Sunday.

"Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident, triggered by a devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami last March, has been rare throughout the operating histories of existing nuclear power plants. The low-possibility, high-consequence incident has given big lessons and dealt a heavy blow to the world's development of nuclear power, but the notion of a safe and peaceful use of nuclear power technology should not be changed, "Sun told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit held on March 26-27 in Seoul.

Sun said the nuke accident sounds alarms for the world's nuclear power industry, pointing out the urgent need of adopting higher standards and placing stricter requirements on the nuclear power technology and management.

China suspended approving new nuclear power projects and launched nationwide safety inspections at nuclear power stations and facilities in operation and under construction over safety concerns one year ago after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

"The incident also warned us that we need to strengthen our ability to deal with such nuclear emergency. We should reinforce the legislation work regarding nuclear development, raising standards in the designing, construction, and operation of the nuclear plants to increase safety; Supervision from both government and enterprises should be tightened towards the industry," said Sun, adding that it is also important to step up efforts in nuclear culture and education, fostering a better public understanding on the nuclear energy utilization.

Sun stressed the need to establish an effective international mechanism of mutual assistance in nuclear safety cooperation. "No country will light on its feet in the event of nuclear crisis, and the neighboring countries will suffer more. We should ramp up efforts to encourage international and regional cooperation and exchanges, share experiences, collectively conduct technology research, and strengthen our ability to deal with nuclear emergency."

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