90 CAS nuclear scientists who resigned were allegedly ‘poached’

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/16 23:36:30

Photo shows the exterior of the fifth unit of the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in Yangjiang, south China's Guangdong Province. File photo: Xinhua

More than 90 nuclear safety scientists with an institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) resigned enmasse according to media reports, with the unusual high number of resignation drawing public attention, considering the essential service the scientists provide. 

An employee at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST) under The Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (CASHIPS) of CAS said the more than 90 researchers who voluntarily left their jobs were "poached" and the resignations were part of "normal staff turnover," the Shanghai-based news website thepaper.cn reported Thursday. 

The employee didn't identify which company or institute may have recruited the researchers.

INEST, located in Hefei, capital of Central China's Anhui Province, a hub of China's scientists, has about 600 members and 80 percent of researchers have PhD degrees, according to the institute's website.

The employee said the 90-plus researchers submitted their resignations in June.

A China Business Journal report on Wednesday quoted a middle-level official in CASHIPS as saying that the scientists left because "the institute could not secure big research projects… without funding, talent leave. The INEST has the highest rate of resignation in the CASHIPS."

He noted that INEST had 500 members at its peak, but much of the talent has left in recent years. Last year there were only 200 researchers, and now there will likely be around 100.

Many of the employees at the INEST graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China, and their average age is 31 and their salary is about 10,000 some yuan ($1,430) a month, the official said. 

The institute is running normally, the China Business Journal reported, quoting a person in charge of INEST.

Earlier media reports show the resignations were triggered by a conflict with new security staff hired in mid-June at INEST. 

According to the official website, INEST was established in September 2011. It is devoted to the design and R&D of advanced nuclear energy and safety technology, and also an independent nuclear safety assessment center with the aim of promoting the sustainable development of nuclear science and technology. 


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