China tightens nuke safety steps in coastal areas

Dong said the centre will provide forecast service as precise as possible to ensure the safety of coastal nuclear power plants.

Updated: Jun 22, 2011, 22:31 PM IST

Beijing: China on Wednesday tightened its marine
disaster warning measures for nuclear plants and other key
projects in coastal areas, as three to four typhoon-triggered
storm surges are predicted to hit the country`s southeastern
coast.

The alert was issued based on estimates from
historical records of storm surges in China`s coastal areas
and analysis of recent climate conditions, said Dong Jianxi, a
chief forecaster at the National Marine Environmental
Forecasting Centre (NMEFC).

Dong said the centre will provide forecast service as
precise as possible to ensure the safety of coastal nuclear
power plants.

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated
with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical
cyclones and strong extra tropical cyclones. These storms
cause high winds that batter the ocean`s surface, creating
massive waves.

The storm surges will likely result casualties and
property loss, experts said, adding that eastern provinces of
Jiangsu and Fujian, as well as Guangdong and Hainan provinces
in the south, will be hit hard by the storm surges.

These regions are the home to China`s major economic
zones, including the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta
and the West Strait Economic District.

"Storm surges are the most destructive type of marine
disasters to hit China`s coastal areas," NMEFC`s deputy
director Yu Fujiang told Xinhua news agency.

"Data shows that storm surges have been increasing in
China since 1949. While there have been no major storm surges
in China in the past decade, serious ones will possibly occur
over the next decade," Yu said.

PTI