China needs improved administrative system for nuclear power safety

Jun 22, 2011

The People's Republic of China should improve its system for ensuring the safety of its rapidly expanding nuclear power program, experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say. Despite having 40% of the world's proposed nuclear power plants, the country lacks an independent regulatory agency and sufficient staff to keep pace with nuclear power development, they describe in a viewpoint article in ACS's journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Qiang Wang and colleagues note that the Chinese government announced that it would suspend approvals for plant development across the country in the wake of devastating failures at Japan's Fukushima nuclear facility. "This decision, uncharacteristic of the Chinese government usually racing ahead with ambitious infrastructure projects, was right and timely," they state. "However, the open question remains how the Chinese government is going to improve nuclear energy safety. China has almost become the nuclear industry's living laboratory for new reactor designs and the learning that comes from actual construction."

But they also note that China's nuclear administrative systems are fragmented among multiple agencies and lack a fully independent safety and regulatory agency. China also lags behind the United States, France, and Japan when it comes to staff and budget to oversee the nation's operational reactors, they said.

Explore further: When the isthmus is an island: Madison's hottest, and coldest, spots

More information: “Improved Administrative System to Ensure China’s Nuclear Security” Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (11), pp 4666–4667
DOI: 10.1021/es201312e

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nuclear expansion in China

Nov 08, 2010

As the world's most populous country and fastest growing major economy, it's no surprise that China needs energy - lots of energy. Its thirst for oil has been a major driver for the dramatic increase in crude ...

Swiss protest nuclear power

May 23, 2011

About 20,000 people took part in an anti-nuclear demonstration in north Switzerland on Sunday ahead of a government decision on the future of atomic energy in the country.

Britain looks at new nuclear plants

May 24, 2007

The British government says it will run out of power in the near future unless it increases its number of nuclear power plants in the country.

Recommended for you

Beijing's focus on coal lost in haze of smog

1 hour ago

The soaring, grimy chimneys of the coal-fired power station have belched the last of their choking fumes into Beijing's air, authorities say—but experts doubt the plan will ease the capital's smog.

Stopping the leaks

19 hours ago

When a big old cast-iron water main blows, it certainly makes for a spectacular media event.

Alpine lifelines on the brink

20 hours ago

Only one in ten Alpine rivers are healthy enough to maintain water supply and to cope with climate impacts according to a report by WWF. The publication is the first-ever comprehensive study on the condition ...

User comments : 0