Emergency strategy improved at nuclear plants

Updated: 2015-05-14 07:43

By Zheng Jinran(China Daily)

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China has built its first training and support base to cope with emergency issues at nuclear power plants in an effort to meet its safety goals amid rapid development of nuclear energy, the top nuclear safety administration said on Wednesday.

Along with the base in Yantai, Shandong province, in eastern China, built by China Power Investment Corp, another two are planned in eastern and southern China, according to the report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Two major domestic nuclear power developers, China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corp, will operate the other two bases, the report said.

Additionally, the developers have created professional emergency response teams inside their power plants and a strategy to manage risks as severe as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.

All five domestic nuclear power corporations have agreed to coordinate efforts in nuclear emergency issues and swiftly share regional emergency services, the ministry said.

The Fukushima disaster is an important reminder that emergency teams inside nuclear power stations are important, said Li Ganjie, vice-minister and head of National Nuclear Safety Administration under the ministry.

A tsunami triggered by an earthquake led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Japanese plant and a significant amount of radioactive material was released.

China currently operates 23 nuclear power units and has another 27 under construction, the most under construction in the world, and an installed nuclear capacity ranked fourth worldwide.

The emergency bases and professional response teams are the latest moves to guarantee nuclear power safety as a whole as China rapidly develops nuclear power energy, Li said.

After the Fukushima incident, China suspended approvals of nuclear plant construction to revise its safety standards.

The capacity of existing nuclear power plants, including those power plants it is preparing to restart, will reach 58,000 megawatts by 2020, the administration said.

China has operated the nuclear power stations safely for three decades, Tang Bo, deputy head of nuclear safety supervision bureau at the administration, said on April 17.

In the ranking of World Association of Nuclear Operators, the performance of all nuclear units in China are better than the global average, Tang said.


(China Daily 05/14/2015 page3)