China to Create National Nuclear Emergency Team Before 2018 Ends
China has announced that it will assemble a national nuclear emergency response team by the end of 2018 to cope with potential nuclear accidents.
The response team is expected to have around 320 members and will work both domestically and internationally. The team will include members of the armed forces and existing rescue professionals. They will be on duty 24-7 and will mainly deal with serious nuclear accidents.
Yao Bin, the head of the nuclear emergency and security division of the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND), said in a statement that the team is being put together with the support of the military and the nuclear industry.
The team will comprise of six units; command, coordination and technical support, decontamination, emergency monitoring and radiation protection, emergency rescue, engineering rescue, and medical aid. The team will undergo drills, training, and theoretical studies, according to Li Ganjie, chief of China Nuclear Safety Bureau.
All provinces and cities in China where nuclear power plants are located will have their own emergency response teams. A nuclear safety law in China is also expected to be passed by the end of 2016.
By December 2015, China had 30 operational nuclear power reactors and 24 more were under constructions. These numbers show that China has more nuclear power reactors than any other country in the world. The Chinese government plans to double the country’s current nuclear power capacity by the end of 2020.
In the next five years, China is expected to have a more improved and suitable national nuclear emergency system after the 320-member national nuclear emergency response team has been trained and deployed.
Wang Yiren, deputy director of China Automatic Energy Authority, said in a statement that the teams would meet the requirements of international level nuclear response teams.
Beijing’s plan to create a nuclear emergency team comes after reports that China and Sudan have come to an agreement regarding the construction of a nuclear plant in the African country. The deal was said to be made after Chinese top official Nur Bekri visited Sudan for three days.