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Draft law strengthens China's nuclear safety
BY 2017-04-25 09:52:35

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Nuclear facility operators must take full responsibility for safety, according to a draft law submitted to China's top legislature for a second reading on Monday.

The "full responsibility" is an update from the previous "major responsibilities."

It requires operators to regularly monitor and report the types and density of radioactive elements in their surroundings to environmental authorities regularly.

The new draft was submitted to the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Monday at the start of its 4-day bi-monthly session.

Compared to the first draft's concise provisions on handling radioactive waste, the new draft dedicated a whole chapter to the safety of nuclear material and radioactive waste.

Radioactive waste should be minimized and treated properly to ensure permanent safety, said the draft.

On emergency response, the draft proposes a committee at national level to organize and coordinate emergency management, as well as an emergency response fund to ensure financial support in case of accidents.

Nuclear accidents were also added to a list of information that must be disclosed to the public, in addition to the general safety situation and the radioactive environment quality.

When decommissioning nuclear facilities, operators must reduce radiation level of buildings, systems and equipment to a safe level.

The draft also details the responsibilities of staff and supervisory bodies, and sanctions for those who fail in their duties.

The legislation will enable China to use nuclear energy safely; ensure the security of facilities and materials; and deal with accidents while protecting employees, the general public and the environment.

China currently has 36 operational nuclear reactors and is building 20 more.

By the end of 2020, China aims to have 58 million kilowatts of nuclear power capacity in operation and more than 30 million kilowatts under construction.

The safety of the country's nuclear facilities should be markedly enhanced by 2020, with fewer accidents and better emergency response and safety supervision, according to a plan published by the State Council, China's cabinet, last month.

(Editor:Li Zhaoqi) (From:xinhua)
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