China is set to pass a nuclear safety law as it rapidly expanded its nuclear power programme to become the world’s largest producer of atomic power. The draft law, which was introduced in the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, specified safety standards for nuclear facilities; emergency preparedness and response systems; and rules for information disclosure.
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China currently has 31 nuclear power units with a total installed capacity of 29.69 million kilowatts. Another 23 units with capacity of 26.09 million kw are under construction.
By 2020, the number of China’s nuclear power generating units is expected to be the second in the world, Zhang Yunchuan, vice chairman of the NPC’s Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The draft law also details the responsibilities of staff and supervisory bodies, and sanctions for those who fail in their duties.
The legislation aims to enable China to utilise nuclear energy safely; ensure the security of facilities and materials; and prevent and cope with accidents while protecting employees, the general public and the environment, the report said.
Safety is the top priority of the nuclear cause, Zhang said.
The legislation will strengthen supervision and increase public confidence in nuclear safety, he said.
It will also reassure the world about China’s safety management, and promote international cooperation in this regard, he said.