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

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.

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