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China committed to enhancing nuclear security

China committed to enhancing nuclear security

2012-04-01 09:54 Ecns.cn     Web Editor: Su Jie

South Korean and Asian civil activists attend a demonstration against the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, on March 19, 2012. The Nuclear Security Summit is scheduled to be held on March 26 and 27 in South Korea. [Photo: Xinhua/Park Jin hee]

(Ecns.cn) -- The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, which just closed on Wednesday in Korea, has brought nuclear security under strong focus worldwide, reported the Oriental Outlook magazine.

In a speech he made at the summit on Tuesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao stressed the steps China is taking to enhance nuclear security and the new and substantive achievements the country has made since the first nuclear security summit in Washington two years ago.

A comprehensive, nationwide inspection on the security of its nuclear facilities has been conducted and "all-dimensional training programs and diverse modes of training have been established," Hu was quoted by Xinhua News Agency.

Work is well underway to set up a Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in China, and the Radiation Detection Training Center of China Customs is now up and running, he pointed out.

At this, Zhang Guobin, former secretary-general of the Department of Science and Technology at China National Nuclear Cooperation (CNNC), emphasized during an interview with Oriental Outlook on March 22 that China enforces strict administrative licensing on the use of nuclear materials.

China has also learnt from other countries and broadened its experience in managing nuclear materials, added Liu Daming, vice head of the Radiation Chemistry Center at the China Institute of Atomic Energy.

"In terms of nuclear safeguards, China has put great stock in protecting and managing physical materials and facilities, and developing new technologies," asserted Zhu Xuhui, a researcher at the CNNC.

All nuclear materials are protected by armed police in China, Zhu explained, adding that even he himself, who has been a researcher and manager in this field for years, has no idea where the materials are kept.

Zhu added that China has established offices specially dedicated to management of nuclear materials to ensure effective and close control over the radioactive items.

"During my half-century career, I haven't lost a gram of nuclear materials; otherwise, I would expect to feel the full force of the law, which shows China's determination to maintain nuclear security," he said.

Zhu added he visited the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Zhejiang Province several days ago and was deeply impressed by its state-of-art equipment and advanced security system.

He further pointed out that China had already set up the National Nuclear Security Technology Center by November 2011 and now has the technologies to convert high-enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU).

In September 2010, the relevant research institutions of China and the U.S. signed an agreement to convert a miniature research reactor in China from using HEU to LEU fuel. Now this project has entered the implementation phase. China is also willing to assist other countries in converting their research reactors by utilizing the expertise and experience gained from the cooperation with the U.S., said the National Progress Report on Nuclear Security of China.

Legal protection on nuclear materials and facilities has also been improved, according to the report. China ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in October 2008, and is formulating or improving supporting domestic laws and regulations, including enacting the Regulation on the Supervision and Management of Nuclear Security.

The government has promulgated a series of regulations, including the Law on Prevention and Control of Radioactive Pollution, Regulations on the Supervision and Management of Civil Nuclear Safety Equipment, and Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Materials, to govern safe storage, transportation and usage of nuclear materials.

President Hu Jintao stressed at the summit that China, even on a worldwide scale, has earnestly honored its international nuclear security obligations.

As a contracting party of the Convention on Nuclear Safety and Convention on Early Notification of A Nuclear Accident, China has expended considerable effort in strengthening the legal basis of nuclear protection, said Liu Daming.

Liu explained that since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 China has further perfected its supervision system on nuclear facilities, and is applying strict control over exports of nuclear materials and will cooperate with other countries in combating illicit trafficking.

A healthy nuclear safety culture should also be developed to broaden the public's knowledge and ease their fears around the use of nuclear power.

The nuclear field is not as mysterious as people think. Besides atomic bombs and radiological weapons, nuclear materials are in fact widely and benevolently used in our daily life, such as in medical treatments and power generation, commented Liu Daming.  

Global , Others

Date: 4/4/2012 3:00:30 PM

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