Speech at the State Council Information Office Press Conference
  • Updated:2016-01-27
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January 27, 2016

Chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority  
Administrator of State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense 
Vice Chairman of National Nuclear Accident Emergency Coordination Committee  
Xu Dazhe

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives great pleasure to meet friends from the press media today and I would like to express my gratitude to you for your concern about and support of China’s nuclear energy development and nuclear safety emergency activities.

Since China embarked on nuclear energy endeavor, especially since the development of nuclear power in the early 1980’s, the Communist Party of China (“CPC”) and the Chinese government have consistently attached great importance to nuclear emergency work by establishing, reinforcing and perfecting national policies related to nuclear emergency work, enhancing nuclear emergency capabilities, improving nuclear emergency measures to ensure that China’s nuclear energy cause moves ahead in a way that is safe, efficient, sustainable and healthy. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, in accordance with the overall national security outlook advocated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, to meet the needs of the new situation and tasks facing nuclear energy development and in view of the new characteristics and rules associated with nuclear energy development, we have been pushing forward and innovating on China’s nuclear emergency work on a continuing basis to usher in a new situation in that regard, as manifested by the following main aspects:

I. Advocating The Nuclear Security Outlook featuring a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach to ensure the correct way forward for nuclear energy development. At The Hague Nuclear Security Summit held in March 2014, President Xi Jinping put forward China’s nuclear security outlook featuring a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach to nuclear security advocating the following: we should place equal emphasis on development and security, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of safety; we should place equal emphasis on rights and obligations, and push forward the international nuclear security process on the basis of respecting the rights and interests of all countries; we should place equal emphasis on independent and collaborative efforts, and seek universal nuclear security through win-win cooperation; we should place equal emphasis on treating symptoms and addressing causes, and advance the nuclear security endeavor in all respects with the goal of removing the associated risks at the root. China shall stay firmly committed to: strengthening its own nuclear security capability, building the international nuclear security system, supporting international cooperation on nuclear security, and upholding regional and global peace and stability. In line with President Xi Jinping’s important thoughts, we shall persist in bottom-line thinking, stay problem oriented, maintain a keen sense of potential risks and readiness to assume responsibilities, and dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to the nuclear energy safety emergency cause in a bid to elevate nuclear emergency work to new heights at all times.

II. Establishing and perfecting national nuclear emergency guidelines and policies, and pushing ahead with the national nuclear emergency system in an all-round manner. We have strengthened the macro coordination and policy alignment with a focus on the establishment and perfection of national nuclear emergency system. Firstly, in respect of nuclear emergency planning system, we have promulgated the new version of National Nuclear Emergency Plan and carried on an unrelenting effort to update and revise emergency plans drawn up by all the involved units at various levels so as to constitute a mutually supportive and cohesive national nuclear emergency planning regime. Secondly, with regards to the building of legal and regulatory systems, we have formed an integrated system of national laws, administrative regulations, departmental rules, standards and spefications, and technical guidelines.  Since last year, we have promulgated the State Security Law of the People’s Republic of China, and have been pushing ahead with the legislative process related to the Atomic Energy Law and the Nuclear Safety Law. Thirdly, with respect to organization and command system, we have established a three-tiered nuclear emergency response working system involving national, provincial and nuclear installation operator levels. Fourthly, with respect to the technical support system, we have built up 8 categories of nuclear emergency specialized technical support centers along with the associated training arrangements. Fifthly, with respect to the rescue and treatment system, efforts are underway to set up a national nuclear emergency rescue team composed of 320 personnel to be mainly responsible for undertaking unexpected rescue missions under severe nuclear accident scenarios and emergency treatment tasks, and stand ready to take part in international nuclear emergency rescue operations. At the same time, dozens of national level specialized rescue task forces are being established.

III. Strengthening Public Communication, training and exercise on Nuclear Emergency to enhance the emergency response capabilities at all levels and on the part of society at large. Every year we organize various forms of nuclear emergency exercises and drills. In June 2015, we organized and executed the state-level nuclear emergency joint exercise codenamed “Shendun-2015” involving the participation of nuclear emergency capabilities from 19 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and 2900 personnel. Officials and experts from international organizations and foreign countries also took part in the exercise. A three-tiered training system has been set up under which regular trainings have been carried out. We have placed great importance on public communication and information release related to nuclear emergency conducting centralized publicity activities under the principles of openness and transparency, objectivity and authenticity, authoritativeness and credibility, and scientific popularity. We have made every effort to unceasingly strengthen the discourse power vis-à-vis nuclear energy development, the right of supervision over nuclear safety, and the right to know what is going on about nuclear emergency preparedness and response on the part of the whole society. Through continuous exercises, training and promotion, we have been able to test and evaluate the actual effectiveness of the various levels of nuclear emergency plans in an effort to promote the continuous improvement of nuclear emergency work and enhance nuclear emergency response/treatment capabilities across the country such that the image of the Chinese government as a responsible administration has been projected.

IV. Implementing the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and Nuclear Power “Going Global” Strategy to steadily integrate into the international nuclear safety emergency system. In keeping with the development concepts of innovation, coordination, green, openness and shared development and to accommodate the requirements of the “One Belt One Road” Initiative and Nuclear Power “Going Global” Strategy, we have consistently attached great importance to sharing and communication with the international community to engage in cooperation and exchanges in a concerted effort to build up an international nuclear safety emergency system that is fair, open, collaborative, win-win and sharing. As an appointed member state sitting on the Board of Governors of IAEA, China strictly fulfills its international obligations under the IAEA Convention, Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency and Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident. We have always been responsive to IAEA calls for action and fully support IAEA in playing a leading role in the fields of promoting nuclear energy and nuclear technology applications, strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear emergency preparedness, and implementing safeguards supervision. We have continually strengthened bilateral and multilateral exchanges, and have entered into bilateral nuclear energy cooperative agreements with over 30 countries thereby playing a constructive role in multiple international organizations. Chinese leaders have attended all nuclear security summits held to date to outline Chinese government’s relevant stances, and, as a responsible great power, China stands ready to work together with the rest of the world to share the fruit of the nuclear energy development cause.

Looking ahead, in the historical cause of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, achieving the “Two Centenary Goals” and realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, China is set to continue to harness nuclear energy as an important strategic choice in line with the Five Development Concepts. As long as we press ahead with nuclear energy development, we shall never relent in our effort to further strengthen nuclear emergency work. We will, in accordance with the overall national security outlook and the requirements of China’s nuclear safety outlook, continue to place equal emphasis on development and safety, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of safety, strengthen the coordinated progress in nuclear emergency preparedness and nuclear energy development to ensure that all action items for nuclear emergency preparedness are fully implemented. We will persist in matching capacity with demand, and continuously enhance our national nuclear emergency capabilities, and ensure that our nuclear emergency response is timely and effective. We will persist in domestic and international exchanges by continuing to deepen international cooperation in respect of nuclear emergency to promote the establishment of an international nuclear safety emergency preparedness system facing the future, and share with the international community achievements of the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We will persist in giving equal attention to present and long-term development, keep in perspective the megatrends of nuclear energy development at home and abroad, plan on nuclear emergency preparedness in a forward-looking manner, ensure that efforts in respect of planning in advance, preparation in advance, and prevention in advance are made going forward with a view to benefiting mankind in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Thank you.