Law enhances nuclear safety

Updated: 2016-11-03 08:33

(China Daily)

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Law enhances nuclear safety

The Fuqing nuclear power plant is under construction. [Photo/China Daily]

The draft law on nuclear safety recently submitted to China's top legislature for a first reading stipulates the country should release information about the nuclear industry to the public and that the citizens, legal persons and organizations can apply to the country's nuclear safety watchdog and the provincial governments of the regions where nuclear facilities are located for nuclear safety-related information.

The draft law is a timely response to people's concerns about nuclear safety, which have deepened as a result of the nuclear disasters in various countries.

The public's fears about safety following rumors of a nuclear leak at the nuclear plant in Daya Bay in South China's Guangdong province in 2010-which ultimately proved nonexistent-and public opposition in August to the construction of a plant for reprocessing used nuclear materials in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu province, were largely the result of the fact that people do not know enough about the nuclear energy industry.

China's booming nuclear industry and the nuclear incidents that have occurred worldwide reinforce the need for China to pass a law to strengthen its nuclear safety management and supervision. The establishment of a transparent information disclosure mechanism about the nuclear industry will help alleviate public concerns about the safety of nuclear power facilities and thus reduce their obstruction to the development of the industry as a way to overcome the bottleneck in the country's energy supplies.

People's lack of knowledge has heightened their fears about nuclear safety. And this has been aggravated by the failure of some local governments to make full disclosures about nuclear projects. The increasing importance attached by the public to health and environmental protection has the high requirements for nuclear safety.

Thus, the government should set up a free-flowing communication mechanism with the public on major nuclear projects and really make their decision-making transparent so as to win people's trust and support.