From Chinese Media

China should expedite safer nuclear plants

Updated: 2011-03-24 11:00

By Quan Li (

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China needs to expedite the development of its third generation nuclear power plants after the devastating Japan earthquake sparked fears around the world, according to Yu Zusheng, a member with the nuclear safety and environmental expert committee of Ministry of Environmental Protection speaking to China Economic Weekly.

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The tsunami that hit Japan all emergency backup cooling water systems on their nuclear reactors, allowing fuel rods to overheat, according to the magazine.

Japan’s second generation nuclear reactors rely on electricity to start up pumps to provide cooling water that would prevent a meltdown and the leak of radioactive substances, Yu told the magazine.

The third generation AP1000 designed nuclear plant requires no electricity or pumps. Each unit includes water tanks on the top of the containment vessel and relies only on the force of gravity to let the water flow into the reactor during a power outage, according to Yu, saying that China should boost the development of the new design.

Yu also said that disaster prevention systems of all the nuclear power plants in China should be reexamined. "Plants should be equipped with strict emergency facilities against huge threats including a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and 10-meter-high tsunami," Yu said.



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