SCIO briefing on China's nuclear emergency preparedness

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Xu Dazhe, director of the China Atomic Energy Authority, director general of the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), and deputy director of theNational Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee (CNNECC)

Hu Kaihong, vice director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

Jan.27, 2016

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning! Welcome to this State Council Information Office press conference. Today, the SCIO issued a white paper -- China's Nuclear Emergency Preparedness. To enhance your understanding, we are holding this press conference to brief you on the main contents of the white paper. We are joined by Mr. Xu Dazhe, chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority, chief of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), and vice director of the National Committee for Emergency Response Coordination of Nuclear Accidents, as well as Mr. Yao Bin, director-general of Nuclear Emergency Response and Security of SASTIND and vice director of National Nuclear Emergency Response Office. They will brief you on China's nuclear emergency response before taking your questions. And I am Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the SCIO. First of all, I will brief you on the main contents of the white paper.

China is a major nuclear power country always dedicated to the peaceful application of nuclear energy. Since the 1980s, it has made remarkable progress in developing nuclear power. Currently, China ranks third in the world, with 54 nuclear power generating units, including those in operation and those under construction. In recent years, China, in its "Belt and Road Initiative," has encouraged the country's nuclear power industry to go overseas, and this has injected new momentum into the global development of nuclear energy.

In March, 2014, President Xi Jinping attended the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, and for the first time put forward a "sensible, coordinated and balanced" nuclear security approach that was widely accepted by the international community. Nuclear emergency preparedness is a vital guarantee to ensure the sustainable and healthy development of the nuclear energy sector. The white paper issued today is the first of its kind ever issued by China in nuclear-related fields.

The white paper contains roughly 12,000 characters, and consists of a preface, main contents, and conclusion. It provides insights into the measures China has taken and important progress it has made in nuclear emergency preparedness, and covers the following topics: Current Situation of Nuclear Energy Development and Nuclear Emergency Preparedness; Guidelines and Policies for Nuclear Emergency Preparedness; All-round Promotion of Nuclear Emergency Preparedness; Building and Maintenance of Nuclear Emergency Capabilities; Main Measures to Cope with Nuclear Accidents; Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Exercises, Drills, Training and Public Communication; Scientific and Technological Innovations in Nuclear Emergency Preparedness; and International Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Nuclear Emergency Preparedness.

The white paper is available in a number of languages including Chinese, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese. The Chinese and English editions have been published by the People's Press and Foreign Languages Press, respectively, and are already available in Xinhua Bookstores nationwide.

That concludes my briefing. I now invite Mr. Xu to take the floor. Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very glad to have this opportunity to talk to you, friends from the press, and I'd like to thank you very much for your attention and support for China's development of nuclear energy, and its work on nuclear security and emergency preparedness.

Since China started to develop nuclear energy, especially in regard to nuclear power in the 1980s, the CPC and the Chinese government have always attached great importance to nuclear emergency preparedness. This has involved continuously building up and improving national policies on nuclear emergency preparedness, raising national capability in nuclear emergency response and improving response measures, so as to ensure that nuclear energy will develop in a safe, efficient, healthy and sustainable way.

Since the CPC's 18th National Congress, and in response to President Xi Jinping's general demand concerning nuclear security, in line with the new situation and new tasks in nuclear energy development, adapting to the new expectations and requirements in the development of nuclear energy, and targeting its new features and patterns, we have been continuously advancing and innovating our nuclear emergency preparedness. The details are as follows:

First, advocating a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach on nuclear security, and adhering to the correct direction in regard to nuclear energy development.

In March, 2014 at the Nuclear Security Summit held in The Hague, President Xi Jinping put forward a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach on nuclear security. In specific terms, we place equal emphasis on development and security, and only develop nuclear energy on the condition of ensured security; we 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 place equal emphasis on independent and collaborative efforts, and seek universal nuclear security through win-win cooperation; we 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 will unswervingly increase its own capacity in nuclear emergency preparedness while unswervingly participating in the construction of an international nuclear security emergency system, supporting international cooperation on nuclear security, and preserving regional and world peace and stability. In line with President Xi Jinping's major thoughts, we have constantly strengthened the "bottom line", adhered to problem-oriented solutions, established a sense of vigilance against potential dangers, and had the courage to take charge and fulfilled responsibilities in our dedication to the cause of nuclear energy security emergency preparedness of all humankind and continuously raised the level of our work.

Second, perfecting the country's guidelines and policies on nuclear emergency preparedness and comprehensively promoting development of the preparedness system.

We have stepped up overall coordination and implementation of policies on national nuclear emergency preparedness, and paid attention to constant improvement of the national system. First, in regard to the system, we have published a new edition of the National Response Plan for Nuclear Emergencies, and continuously updated and improved response plans of all departments at all levels, so as to form a national emergency response plan that makes mutual support and coordination possible. Second, regarding the building of laws and regulations, we have formed our own nuclear emergency legal framework, comprising state laws, administrative regulations, departmental rules, national and industrial standards, and management guidelines. Last year, we promulgated the State Security Law, and are actively making efforts to push forward the legislative process associated with the Atomic Energy Law and Nuclear Safety Law. Third, in regard to the organization and command system, we have established a three-level nuclear emergency preparedness system involving the central, provincial (regional or municipal) governments and operators of nuclear installations. Fourth, relating to the technical supporting system, we set up eight kinds of specialized technical support centers, along with training systems, to cope with all types of emergencies. Fifth, in regard to the rescue and handling system, we are currently creating a 320-person national nuclear emergency rescue team to undertake unexpected rescue missions in serious nuclear accident scenarios and emergency treatment tasks, as well as participate in international nuclear emergency rescue missions. We have simultaneously formed dozens of national specialized rescue squads.

Thirdly, China has stepped up the nuclear emergency preparedness public communication, training and exercises and enhanced the response capability at various levels and of the whole society. It conducts nuclear emergency preparedness drills and exercises in various forms every year. In June 2015, it carried out a national-level nuclear emergency joint exercise codenamed "Shendun-2015," which involved 2,900 people from 19 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and was observed by officials and experts from international organizations and foreign countries. The nation has a three-level nuclear emergency preparedness training system with regular activities. It also attaches great importance to reinforcing public communications and information disclosure about nuclear emergency preparedness and organizes publicity activities based on transparency, objectivity, trustworthiness and scientific accuracy so as to enhance public understanding of nuclear energy development and its right to supervise nuclear safety with guaranteed access to information on nuclear emergency preparedness and response. Through continuous exercises, training and publicity, the performance of all-level nuclear emergency preparedness plans can be evaluated so as to improve work efficiency and emergency response capabilities nationwide and build up a responsible image for China and its government.

Fourthly, China has implemented the "Belt and Road" Initiative and the strategy of "Nuclear Power Going Global" and worked continuously for integration within the international nuclear safety emergency system. Upholding the ideas of innovation, coordination, greening, openness and shared development, and adapting to the development of the aforementioned initiative and strategy, China lays great emphasis on good communications, cooperation and exchanges with the international community so as to establish a fair, open, cooperative, win-win and shared international nuclear safety emergency system. As a member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, China works hard to fulfill its international obligations set out in the IAEA Convention, the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and so on. China actively responds to the initiatives put forward by the IAEA and supports it in playing a leading role in promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear technologies, stepping up nuclear safety and emergency preparedness capabilities and implementing supervision measures. China has also been actively expanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation and exchanges. The nation has signed bilateral nuclear energy cooperation agreements with 30 countries and plays constructive roles in many related international organizations. Its head of state has attended all previous nuclear safety summits and set forth the stance of the Chinese government. Being a responsible great power, China is committed to sharing its achievements in nuclear power development with the rest of the world.

Looking to the future, in China's historic drive of striving to finish 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 will continue to press forward with the development of nuclear energy as an important strategic choice in line with the ideas of innovation, coordination, green, openness and shared development. As long as China continues to develop nuclear energy, it will never relax its efforts to strengthen nuclear safety. Adhering to the concept of overall national security and the nuclear safety concept, China will continue to place equal emphasis on development and safety, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of safety, strengthen coordinated improvement in nuclear emergency preparedness and nuclear energy development to ensure nuclear emergency preparedness is fully implemented. It will persist in matching capacity to demand, continuously enhance its national nuclear emergency capabilities, and ensure that any nuclear emergency response is timely and effective. Meanwhile, China will continue to deepen international cooperation to promote the establishment of an international nuclear safety emergency preparedness system meeting future needs, and share with the international community its achievements in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. China 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 nuclear emergency preparedness in a forward-looking manner, and ensure that efforts in respect of planning, preparation and prevention are made in advance and the peaceful use of nuclear energy can benefit all humankind.

Thank you. Now, my colleague and I are ready to answer your questions.


China's nuclear power has progressed rapidly in recent years. It is known by all that honorable achievements have been made both at home and abroad. Therefore, may I ask Mr. Xu to introduce the scale and technology of China's nuclear plants and their current phases? Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

As nuclear power is a clean, efficient and quality green resource, the development of nuclear plants has composed an integral part of China's undertaking in view of the nuclear energy sector. To mirror what you mentioned, nuclear power in China has made rapid progress. It is true that the momentum of the development of nuclear power in the country is exceptional. I'll give you several statistics as further explanation. Currently, the Chinese mainland owns 30 nuclear generating units in operation with the installed capacity of 28.31 GWe and 24 units in construction with an installed capacity totaling 26.72 GMe. Last year saw eight units approved, six units begin construction and eight units commence operation, among which six units have been directed to commercial use. That is a summary of the general situation last year.

The number of China's nuclear generating units under construction is ranked highest in the world. Meanwhile, the rank of the units in operation ascended from sixth to fourth in view of ongoing operation, as some units stopped running after the incident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Those statistics are provided in view of scale, whereas the technology of the nuclear plants in China has kept abreast with those of the major countries in the world. The nuclear generating units put into operation in China are generally second or second-plus generation. However, construction is now transferring to the third generation. The nuclear generating unit, Hualong One, which was developed by domestic technology, has started construction in both China and foreign countries. It has won recognition throughout the entire world. We are also in the process of developing the nuclear generating units classified as fourth generation together with the construction of a High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor. All in all, the technology of nuclear plants in China is similar to those of the world's major countries.


It seems China slightly slowed down the approval for its nuclear power projects after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Some experts believe it will be very difficult for you to achieve the generating capacity target of 58 GWe in 2020. So, will you speed up the approvals after taking these nuclear safety measures? Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

Thank you for your question. We cannot forget the three major nuclear accidents in the world: namely the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania in March 1979, the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Soviet Union in April 1986, and the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in March 2011. We have released this white paper, China's Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, so that we will not be in a rush should a nuclear emergency occur and have necessary and sufficient measures in place to effectively handle it. After the Fukushima nuclear incident, China took some preventative measures. In the period from 2011 to 2014, we slowed down the approval for the under-construction projects, and used the time to do much work.

First, we have conducted massive safety inspections on all nuclear power generating units that are in operation and under-construction.

Second, we have developed the most stringent safety standards. We are fully aware of the fact that nuclear power is a clean and efficient energy source that both China and the whole world urgently need. However, nuclear safety is the prerequisite. We must adopt advanced and mature technologies, safe and reliable standards, scientific and standardized management and do well in nuclear emergency preparedness. We have made a lot of efforts in line with these principles after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Third, we have comprehensively improved national nuclear emergency preparedness and responses in accordance with international practice, namely the new criteria and new approach of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). All operators of nuclear installations have been ordered to produce emergency handling measures in accordance with the new criteria.

Fourth, we have strengthened top-tier design and conducted overall planning. To meet the criteria of the safety and reliability of nuclear power, we have continuously sought to improve the national nuclear emergency preparation and response mechanism through system enhancement, involving legislation, emergency planning, improved command and rescue capabilities as well as various kinds of technical support.

Just now, I said we were building up a national-level nuclear emergency rescue force. After all the work had been done, people may have noticed we approved the construction of eight new nuclear installations last year. At this rate, by the year 2020 we will achieve the target of 58 GWe in operation and 30 GWe under construction as planned.

Thank you.

China Radio International:

I noticed the white paper states our country will establish a national nuclear emergency rescue team. Can you tell me more about it?

Xu Dazhe:

For now, we have set up 25 professional rescue teams around the country, involving about 1,300 people. Based on this, a national nuclear emergency rescue team will be established. Building a strong, effective nuclear emergency response capability is the precondition for properly dealing with nuclear accidents. The Party and government highly value social stability and people's well-being. Actually, I said something about the work we are doing right now when I answered a foreign reporter's question just now. Sticking to the guidelines of versatile compatibility, resource integration, interdisciplinary support, and integration of military and civilian capabilities, China is determined to build and maintain a fully-fledged national nuclear emergency response capability commensurate with the safe and efficient development of nuclear energy. This is what the government has been working on. We formed the National Nuclear Accident Emergency Coordination Committee in 1991, and gradually built various training bases and technical support centers over the years. We have attached even more importance to the nuclear emergency response capability since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. The emerging national nuclear emergency rescue team will take part in international rescue missions as justified. It will show the world that China is a responsible power that can make its own contribution to human welfare. Approved by the central government, a team comprising 320 people is now taking shape.

Thank you.

China National Radio:

I have two questions. First, we know that central state-owned enterprise sector is being restructured. Considering market performance, five fields including nuclear power are facing highest expectations. Could you please give an introduction to the process of the nuclear power restructuring? Second, last year, the national nuclear power program was restarted with a proposal for a threefold increase in generating capacity in five years. Does it mean that China will speed up the construction of inland nuclear power stations? The white paper, China's Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, issued today shows that more emphasis on the nuclear safety. Will the construction of inland nuclear power stations affect this in any way? Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

China is developing the work in all aspects according to the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy, and comprehensively deepening reform is an important aspect of this. The restructuring of the nuclear power sector is surely an issue that we are closely concerned with. Actually, the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation and the China Power Investment Corporation implemented restructuring last year and have become one of the three main forces of China's nuclear power operation. We now have the China National Nuclear Corporation, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation, as well as the State Power Investment Corporation.

The next step in reforming nuclear power enterprises involves the process, in accordance with the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy. You should contact the energy and the central state-owned enterprises administration departments concerned for more information. As an atomic energy department, we actively support and develop relevant nuclear equipment research and development enterprise and nuclear power units. This is my answer to your first question.

In regard to the second question, you asked whether nuclear power development would move to inland areas. We now mainly site nuclear power plants in coastal areas. From north to south, in eight different provinces, we have 54 nuclear power units that are already in operation or under construction, namely Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan. This differs from the situation in France. It has constructed and operated many nuclear power plants in its inland areas and along rivers. China policy in developing nuclear power is first to meet demand. The eastern area of China has developed in advance of other parts, and has the most active economy, so that's why we give priority to the coastal areas.

On the issue of inland development, we are reviewing this based on energy demand. However, ensuring security is our basic premise and we will certainly look at ideas from countries around the world with operational experience before implementing the strategy. Thank you.


I have two questions. One is about China-Russia cooperation. What's China's view on the projects involved? What projects are there? The second question is: What do you think of the DPRK's opinion on other countries, including China?

Xu Dazhe:

I just mentioned that China's nuclear development is open to all, and we are promoting the "Belt and Road" initiative. We have been cooperating with many countries, including Russia. In particular, China's cooperation with Russia is going well, and we have made many joint achievements. There is a cooperative mechanism in place and, every year, we hold a joint meeting and develop guidelines on cooperation. Then, we conduct joint research on many issues under these guidelines. The construction of Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in the past is an example of the achievements we have made together. Besides nuclear power, China and Russia have cooperated on many other issues, such as the technologies in regard to nuclear fuel cycle facilities. In my opinion, China and Russia will continue to have wide-ranging cooperation on nuclear energy development in the future.

Of course, we are also cooperating well with the United States, France and other major countries that are developing nuclear power. And we are cooperating well with the other developing countries. In this way, we can ensure that the whole world can enjoy the achievements China has made in nuclear energy development in the past six decades.

As for the second question, the DPRK conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6. This triggered strong responses from the other countries. The Chinese government has consistently and firmly adhered to urging the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and opposed such tests. We will continue to work with the other countries to achieve such denuclearization. Thank you.

China Daily:

Mr. Xu, you just mentioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping explained China's stance on nuclear security during the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Hague in March, 2014, and proposed to build an international nuclear security system, which includes nuclear emergency measures. I want to know what kind of work did China do to promote the international nuclear emergency management system. Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

I emphasized China's approach to nuclear security as being "rational, coordinated and balanced", which was presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the third NSS in Hague in March, 2014. We have to stay clear-minded that security is the priority when developing the nuclear industry. President Xi Jinping mentioned four "equal emphases", namely, equal emphasis on development and security, equal emphasis on rights and obligations, equal emphasis on independent and collaborative efforts and equal emphasis on treating symptoms and addressing causes. The president also mentioned four aspects to "stay firmly committed to", namely, strengthening China's nuclear security capability, building an international nuclear security system, supporting international cooperation on nuclear security and upholding regional and global peace and stability.

China's efforts toward building the nuclear emergency preparedness measures and the system were guided by President Xi Jinping's important thoughts. China's approach to nuclear security should be implemented in the construction and development of China's nuclear power and nuclear emergency preparedness measures. In recent years, I have met with Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, several times and shared opinions with him on China's nuclear development in the fields of law, technical regulations, emergency rescue systems, word standards adoption and international cooperation. He has visited a few nuclear power plants under construction in China, and highly affirmed China's efforts toward establishing nuclear emergency preparedness measures. Last year, China held a national-level nuclear security drill known as "Shendun 2015," during which international experts and institution staff members were invited. China's nuclear emergency preparedness is in line with international nuclear security and emergency preparedness systems, and is open to the world. We also want to increase transparency and openness by introducing more information to the media. As a result, the Chinese government published its first white paper on nuclear emergency preparedness. Thank you.

The Straits Times:

Two weeks ago, a number of media outlets reported that China General Nuclear Power Cooperation (CGN) plans to construct its first floating nuclear power plant this year. I would like to know the Chinese government's consideration regarding the construction of a marine nuclear power platform, specifically its safety measures and deployment means. Will China construct its nuclear power plants in disputed seas so as to speed up its construction on islands and reefs?

Xu Dazhe:

The Chinese government is busy formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan. Peaceful use of nuclear energy is a significant strategic choice for China as we are a developing country which faces large energy demands and environmental constraints. We are planning to build a floating nuclear power plant, but the entire construction asks for strict and scientific argumentation. Devoted to establishing itself as a maritime power, China will make full use of marine resources. Hence, how to develop nuclear power well is what we have been discussing, researching and planning. However, we assure you that China will stay firmly committed to the peaceful use of nuclear power, and place safety as the top priority in developing nuclear energy, which has been clearly elaborated in China's stance on the nuclear security approach. We will exploit marine resources in the surrounding waters and benefit people based on the preconditions of peace and safety. I hope our media friends from Singapore will rest assured. Thank you.

Beijing Youth Daily:

You have just briefed us on nuclear emergency preparedness. We're rather concerned about its guarantee regarding the life safety of the general public. Previously, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) had launched an emergency monitoring system following the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK. What role does it play in the emergency preparedness system? Thank you.

Xu Dazhe:

Putting people's interests first is the basic principle of the CPC and the Chinese government, and the same applies when it comes to developing China's nuclear energy. Releasing the White Paper is a means of preparation in case of accidents. We have highlighted the people's interests as the top priority in the top-level design of the emergency preparedness system. This is a means of ensuring that public safety is of paramount importance once accidents happen. The system not only includes an emergency response to the accident itself but also public response to a certain degree, known as the "Plume Exposure Pathway Emergency Planning Zones." To a larger extent, we should also consider countermeasures in protecting life safety and addressing all kinds of other safety concerns. We have multiple lines of defense, or barriers, installed to strengthen nuclear safety. Nuclear emergency preparedness is the last line of defense. In the case of this last resort, public safety, such as evacuation as well as the communication of information, should be our utmost focus. The current priority is to improve nuclear safety and avoid possible accidents through innovative ideas, reliable safety standards and sophisticated technology and equipment.

The safety records China has kept over the past 30 years prove that the country has done this. However, given the fast progress of China's nuclear power and the increase of ongoing projects and operating projects, we must put nuclear emergency preparedness high on our agenda and publicize the knowledge of nuclear power, nuclear safety and emergency response measures. As a result, we held several public promotion campaigns last year. When the DPRK conducted its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, China's National Nuclear Accident Emergency Coordination Committee immediately took action in a full range of fields, such as environmental protection, medical care, earthquake detection and meteorology. We concluded that the test’s impact on China's environment and the Chinese people was insubstantial. We have always been concerned with the nuclear activities of our neighboring countries. The environmental protection department worked actively as a part of the preparedness system. It has been monitoring the environment, and so far, we haven't found any impact on China’s environment or the Chinese people.

Thank you.

Cable TV Hong Kong:

Last year, according to a report from the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant postponed the application of two third-generation European Pressurized Reactors (EPR). In 2014, the annual report of the National Nuclear Safety Administration said the construction of the two reactors of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant was progressing smoothly with sound safety and quality management conditions. However, sub-quality problems have been found in the reactors. Who was in charge of the checks and inspections? Was China incapable of administering these procedures? Was the National Nuclear Safety Administration responsible? Is the construction of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant ongoing or has it been suspended?

Xu Dazhe:

As far as I know, it is true that the construction of the EPR at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant was a little bit delayed. However, it can be hailed as the fastest when compared to the construction of similar reactors. The reason behind the delay is that we placed safety as the top priority. If there are any problems, we address them before proceeding to the next step. The fact that it remains the fastest project despite the hold-up underlines China's hard work in this respect. The construction of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has not been halted, and we are still proceeding according to the schedule. Last year's "Shendun-2015" was an exercise which simulated possible accidents at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and activated the fifth line of the five-line defense during the process. We attach a great level of importance to nuclear safety in Guangdong Province and the adjacent Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and have communicated extensively with Hong Kong people from all circles. The EPR is a third-generation nuclear reactor. I think the overall construction is progressing smoothly. Staff members from CGN and the National Nuclear Emergency Response Office, have completed field inspection there and discussed the matter with Hong Kong peers.

Yao Bin:

The French Nuclear Safety Authority discovered that an index of the EPR's vessel and cover didn't match the design during monitoring. This received great attention from the Chinese nuclear department. We are waiting for the results from the French side, and then we will make a thorough analysis and check with the complete EPR reactor. We won't resume the construction of this part until we remove all safety concerns, but the construction of the other parts are still going on.

Xu Dazhe:

I used to be the director of the China National Space Administration. China's strict requirements on space equipment, which ensure there is no problem regarding any piece of equipment, have become an international norm. We are taking a similar approach toward the EPR. We are trying to ensure there are no safety concerns after we learned of the problem. We will make a clear-cut conclusion on this issue. Thank you.

The Times:

The plan of China's nuclear power enterprises to build nuclear plants in Britain has drawn concerns from British citizens over safety issues. How can you assure them that the nuclear plants are safe in the future?

Xu Dazhe:

Thank you for your question. First of all, China, France and Britain are leading countries in nuclear energy production and we are highly confident of the cooperation among the three countries. The Hinckley Point project in Britain, with the China General Nuclear Power Cooperation (CGN) taking a part, is expected to be a model program for international cooperation. With the shared development encouraged by the Chinese government, we remain confident of the transfer of the Sino-France nuclear energy technology when cooperating with the major countries of nuclear power in the world. In other words, we are confident of the construction of the project.

To my knowledge, the Hinckley Point project will be led by France in the first and second phases. China won't play a big role in the construction until the third phase.The third generation technology provided by Hualong One is widely recognized in the sector. With the application of active and passive safety measures, as well as the "double safety shells" and "multiple safety redundancies" schemes, which will help reduce the power density of fuel rods, the nuclear technology of Hualong One has been highly recognized. We are confident that the construction of the Hinckley Point project will proceed smoothly with the joint efforts of the three countries. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

That's all for today's press conference. Thank you.

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