Nuke security law to be made

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-11 1:13:01

No definite timetable for inland plant construction

China's nuclear security law has been included in its legislation plan, which analysts believe would strictly regulate the booming industry, as well as provide legal grounds to maximize the energy structure.

"By coming up with a nuclear security law, public concern over nuclear security will be addressed and China's commitment to the international community will be fulfilled," Yuan Si, deputy head of the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), said at a press conference during the third session of the 12th NPC on Thursday.

Yuan's remarks come on the heels of a statement made by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration and deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, on Sunday that "there is no clear timetable for the construction of inland nuclear power plants."

"We are still carrying out extensive research and soliciting public feedback," said Nur.

A lack of a law on nuclear security in China is incompatible with its status as a nuclear state. The legislation will not only regulate the safe use of nuclear energy but also safeguard national security in a broader sense, He Zuoxiu, a theoretical physicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times.

"The new regulation may include rules to cope with terrorist activities against nuclear facilities, or to set up non-nuclear zones, where certain areas will be nuclear-free," He said.

"As China promotes low carbon energy to reduce pollution form coal-fired generators, the nuclear security legislation is timely, and can specify the requirements for building and running nuclear power plants," Zhou Dadi, vice director of the China Energy Research Society, told the Global Times.

The Chinese mainland operates 30 nuclear power-generating units with a total capacity of 28.31 gigawatts. 24 more units with a total capacity of 26.72 gigawatts are under construction, ranking first in the world, Xu Dazhe, director of the China Atomic Energy Authority, said at a press conference in January.

Zhou said the nuclear power plants account for only 2 percent of the country's total power requirements while the average global proportion is 14 percent, adding that China is in a great position to develop its nuclear projects.

The legislation may also curb the rapid expansion of nuclear power plants which has led to safety and public concerns, experts said.

The Chinese government put the brakes on nuclear power plant approvals after the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011, calling for safety checks on nuclear power plants. Approval procedures were restarted in 2012 under pressure from increasing domestic demand for power.

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