VIII. International Cooperation and Exchanges in the Field of Nuclear Emergency Preparedness
As a member state of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), China has always been, along with the other members, dedicated to promoting the development of an international nuclear safety emergency system and the sharing of achievements resulting from the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and unswervingly supports and facilitates international cooperation and exchange in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness. China has launched multi-level and all-round cooperation in respect of nuclear emergency preparedness with international organizations, including the IAEA, and is stepping up collaboration and exchange in the field of nuclear emergencies with relevant countries.
Actively acceding to relevant international conventions. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, China lays great store by integrating itself into the international nuclear safety emergency system. Since joining the IAEA in 1984, China has acceded to a number of international conventions, including the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Convention on Nuclear Safety, and International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. Under these conventions, China has always been committed to playing a constructive role in promoting the establishment of a peaceful, cooperative and mutually beneficial international nuclear safety emergency system in tandem with other countries.
Actively fulfilling international obligations regarding nuclear emergency preparedness. China supports the IAEA's leading role in the fields of promoting nuclear energy and nuclear technology applications, strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear emergency preparedness, and implementing safeguard supervision. China actively undertakes the international obligations set out in the relevant international conventions, and responds to each initiative put forward by the Board of Governors and General Conference of the IAEA. Chinese delegations have attended all conferences on nuclear emergency preparedness and nuclear safety convention obligation compliance organized by the IAEA, and submitted national reports on nuclear emergency preparedness and compliance with nuclear safety obligations, taking a responsible attitude. China has also, on numerous occasions, participated in exercises sponsored by the IAEA within the framework of the conventions. In addition, China has made contributions in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness to the whole world by recommending hundreds of Chinese experts and scholars in this field to participate in the work of the IAEA. In May 2014 China joined the International Nuclear Emergency Response and Assistance Network ― an act of support for the construction of the international nuclear emergency preparedness network.
Actively conducting bilateral exchanges. Since 1984, China has successively entered into bilateral agreements on nuclear energy cooperation with 30 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, the UK, the US, ROK, Russia and France, and conducted cooperation and exchange which include nuclear emergency preparedness. China and the US have cooperated on the construction of the Center of Nuclear Security Excellence in China as a forum for technical exchange on nuclear security within the region and the rest of the world. Under the framework of the Sino-US agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) and the US Department of Energy have jointly upheld a number of training activities, including a nuclear emergency medical rescue training program and a nuclear emergency consequence evaluation workshop. The Sino-Russian Sub-commission for Nuclear Issues was established within the framework of the Sino-Russian Prime Ministerial Regular Meeting, by which both sides conduct exchanges and cooperation in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness on a regular basis. Furthermore, China has been involved in relevant activities on a regular basis with France and ROK, establishing the Sino-French Commission on Nuclear Energy Cooperation and Coordination with France and Sino-Korean Joint Commission on Nuclear Energy Cooperation with ROK, respectively. In addition to assisting Pakistan in building nuclear power stations, China has conducted extensive cooperation and exchanges with that country in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness.
Actively expanding multilateral cooperation. China conducts cooperation and exchange with other countries in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness, pursuing results that are beneficial to all involved. Chinese heads of state have appealed to the world community to strengthen nuclear safety and nuclear emergency preparedness management, enhance nuclear safety and nuclear emergency preparedness capabilities and boost the confidence of all peoples in achieving permanent nuclear security and the goal of nuclear energy benefiting mankind, at the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit, 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit and 2014 Hague Nuclear Security Summit. The CAEA and IAEA have organized various forms of exchanges and cooperation, including “Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response under Circumstances of Severe Nuclear Accidents” training sessions for the Asia-Pacific Region held in July 2014 in China's Fujian, which served as a platform for exchanges among experts from 11 countries and regions. In October 2015 China shared its achievements in nuclear emergency preparedness and response with around 90 participating countries and a dozen international organizations, and briefed them China's policies concerning nuclear emergency preparedness at the First International Conference on Global Nuclear Emergency Preparation and Response. China plays an active role in regional exchange and cooperation through such mechanisms as the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN), Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia and Cooperation Agreement on Nuclear Technology in the Asia-Pacific Region. In January 2004 China officially joined the Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network of the World Health Organization (REMPAN). China itself has successively upheld international academic exchange activities in the field of nuclear emergency preparedness. China, Japan and ROK have established a framework of early notification of nuclear accidents and a mechanism of expert exchange for cooperation and exchange in the relevant fields on a regular basis.
Actively carrying out cooperation and exchange in response to the Fukushima nuclear accident. As a close neighbor of Japan, China was especially concerned about the Fukushima nuclear accident. It immediately activated its nuclear emergency preparedness and response mechanism and countermeasures, while expressing willingness to the Japanese government to offer radiation monitoring and medical aid by fulfilling its international obligations under the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. In May 2011, at the invitation of the Japanese government, China organized a delegation of experts to visit Japan to conduct focused exchanges with their Japanese counterparts on the Fukushima nuclear accident, and put forward suggestions for the handling of it. Furthermore, China dispatched senior experts to join the IAEA's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Assessment Team to evaluate the impact from the Fukushima accident. In the past four years or so since the Fukushima nuclear accident, Chinese government organs, enterprises and institutions, colleges and universities and R&D institutes have conducted various forms of collaboration with international organizations in summing up and discussing important issues in relation to post-Fukushima nuclear emergency preparedness. These activities not only have helped China improve its nuclear emergency work, but also have helped the international community in accessing experience feedback from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Actively responding to the IAEA's Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The IAEA published the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident to serve as reference for all countries in improving their respective nuclear emergency work. Consulting the new criteria and concepts, China has comprehensively improved its nuclear emergency preparation and response mechanism by enhancing supervision and technical support for national nuclear safety and nuclear emergency preparedness, conducting inspections on nuclear emergency work of all operators of nuclear installations, perfecting emergency measures in accordance with the new criteria and strengthening top-tier design and planning to establish a robust nuclear emergency preparedness capabilities system. China is endeavoring to upgrade its nuclear emergency work to a new level by persisting in using state-of-the-art technology, upholding the most rigorous criteria and enforcing nuclear emergency management in a comprehensive manner.