Nuclear Safety in China
The State Council Information Office of
the People’s Republic of China
I. Following a Rational, Coordinated and Balanced Nuclear Safety Strategy
II. Building a Policy and Legal Framework on Nuclear Safety
III. Ensuring Effective Regulation of Nuclear Safety
IV. Maintaining High-Level Safety
V. Co-building and Sharing Nuclear Safety
VI. Building a Community of Shared Future for Nuclear Safety
The discovery of the atom and the subsequent development and utilization of nuclear energy have given a new impetus to the progress of humanity and greatly enhanced our ability to understand and shape the world. Yet nuclear energy has associated risks and challenges. To better utilize nuclear energy and achieve greater progress, we must properly respond to the challenges it poses and ensure nuclear safety.
In the early days of the People’s Republic of China, due to the requirement for national development, the Chinese government made a major decision to develop and utilize nuclear energy, officially launching its nuclear industry. Over the past 70 years, China’s nuclear industry has grown from scratch, developed steadily, and formed a complete system, which has made an important contribution to ensuring energy security, protecting the environment, improving people’s living standards, and promoting high-quality economic development. China has always regarded nuclear safety as an important national responsibility, and integrated it into the entire process of nuclear energy development and utilization. It has always developed the nuclear industry subject to considerations of safety, implemented regulation in accordance with the strictest standards, and adapted to the new requirements of the nuclear industry. China’s nuclear industry has always developed in line with the latest safety standards and maintained a good safety record, pursuing an innovation-driven path of nuclear safety with Chinese characteristics.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China’s nuclear industry has entered a new period of safe and efficient development. President Xi Jinping proposed a rational, coordinated and balanced nuclear safety strategy, placing equal emphasis on development and safety, and advocating building a community of shared future for global nuclear safety – he has pointed out the direction for China’s nuclear safety for a new era, and provided the Chinese approach to international cooperation in the development and utilization of nuclear energy, and to lasting global nuclear safety. Under the guidance of this strategy, China has gradually built a nuclear safety governance system with legal norms, administrative regulation, industry self-discipline, technical support, personnel support, cultural guidance, public participation, and international cooperation as the pillars. The guarantee of nuclear safety is stronger.
China is an important advocate, promoter and participant in building a fair, collaborative and mutually beneficial international nuclear safety system. It has done a good job in ensuring its own nuclear safety, fulfilled its international obligations, and promoted bilateral and multilateral cooperation on nuclear safety. We have actively promoted the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the benefit of all humanity and contributed China’s wisdom and strength to global nuclear safety governance.
This white paper is being released to introduce China’s approach to nuclear safety, elaborate on its basic principles and policies, share the concepts and practices of regulation, and clarify China’s determination to promote global nuclear safety governance and the actions it has taken to achieve this.
I. Following a Rational, Coordinated and Balanced Nuclear Safety Strategy
On March 24, 2014, at the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, President Xi Jinping proposed a rational, coordinated and balanced nuclear safety strategy. China’s nuclear safety strategy is the embodiment of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the nuclear field, an important element of China’s overall national security framework, and a major innovation in the theory of nuclear safety governance. The strategy is an important milestone in promoting international nuclear safety. It lays out the principles and methods for addressing the fundamental issues of global nuclear safety governance and building a community of shared future for nuclear safety.
The kernel of China’s nuclear safety strategy is the “Four Emphases”. Systematically promoting nuclear safety in an all-round way is the main purpose of China’s nuclear safety strategy, which is embodied in equal emphasis on development and safety, rights and obligations, independent efforts and coordination, and symptoms and root causes.
– We should place equal emphasis on development and safety, and develop the nuclear industry in a context of guaranteed safety. Development is the foundation of safety, while safety is a precondition of development. Development and safety are the basic requirements of humanity for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We should uphold the concept of seeking safety for development and promoting development with safety, so that the two objectives can be integrated and mutually reinforcing. Only by achieving better development can we truly control safety risks; and only by guaranteeing safety can nuclear energy achieve sustainable development.
– We should place equal emphasis on rights and obligations, and promote international nuclear safety on the basis of respect for the rights and interests of all countries. States should effectively fulfill their obligations under the international legal instruments on nuclear safety, fully implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, and consolidate and develop the existing legal framework for nuclear safety. At the same time, we should adhere to the principle of fairness and uphold pragmatism in respecting the right of all countries to adopt their own nuclear safety policies and measures suited to their national conditions, and respecting their right to protect sensitive nuclear safety information.
– We should place equal emphasis on independent efforts and coordination, and seek universal nuclear safety with a mutually beneficial approach. Nuclear safety is first and foremost a national issue, and the primary responsibility should be borne by the government of each country. Governments should understand and undertake their responsibilities, and be responsible not only to themselves but also to the world. They should strengthen coordination, make joint efforts, share achievements, and seek mutual benefit. We should benefit from and contribute to nuclear safety, and endeavor to globalize nuclear safety.
– We should place equal emphasis on symptoms and root causes, and comprehensively promote nuclear safety by eliminating the root causes of risk. We will improve nuclear safety policy measures, develop modern and low-risk nuclear energy, maintain a balance between supply and demand in nuclear materials, strengthen non-proliferation efforts and export control, further international cooperation against nuclear terrorism, and eliminate potential dangers to nuclear safety and risks of nuclear proliferation. All countries should work together to develop harmonious and friendly relations, create a peaceful and stable international environment, and solve the problems of nuclear terrorism and proliferation from the root, thus realizing the lasting safety and development of nuclear energy.
China practices peaceful use of nuclear energy on the basis of ensuring safety, which responds to the needs of the people today and will not leave any risk or cause harm to future generations. This practice will guarantee the sustainable development of human civilization.The basic principles of China’s nuclear safety are: putting safety first and exercising nuclear safety governance in accordance with the law, focusing on risk prevention and implementing defense-in-depth, ensuring clear lines of responsibility and independent regulation, and practicing strict management and providing comprehensive guarantees.
– Putting safety first and exercising nuclear safety governance in accordance with the law. We should establish the concept that safety is of the utmost importance and ensure that nuclear safety is the paramount consideration in decision-making. We will continue to improve the system of laws and regulations on nuclear safety, and ensure that nuclear energy is developed and utilized in accordance with the law.
– Focusing on risk prevention and implementing defense-in-depth. We should concentrate our efforts on eliminating potential risks and preventing nuclear accidents through mature design, high-quality construction, and sound operational management. Following the principle of defense-in-depth, we set up multiple barriers and multiple forms of protection, and strengthen the integrity, independence, and effectiveness of preventative measures.
– Ensuring clear lines of responsibility and independent regulation. Nuclear facility operating organizations shall take overall responsibility for safety. The national nuclear safety regulatory body implements independent regulation; the nuclear industry and energy authorities, and other relevant authorities are responsible for the management of nuclear safety in accordance with the division of duties.
– Practicing strict management and providing comprehensive guarantees. We should strictly implement nuclear safety laws, regulations and standards, and carry out regulation through administrative licensing, technical review, surveillance, and law enforcement. We will establish a coordination mechanism for nuclear safety, improve the relevant policies and regulations, formulate and implement relevant plans, foster a nuclear safety culture, and strengthen resource allocation and capacity building, so as to ensure comprehensive nuclear safety.