China to beef up radiation safety at nuclear reactors



China to beef up radiation safety at nuclear reactors Beijing: China has stepped up efforts to beef up radiation safety supervision at its nuclear reactors, amid global concerns over the crisis at the crippled Fukushima atomic plant in Japan.

China's environmental regulator will spend 150 million yuan (about USD 23.08 million) on nuclear and radiation safety supervision, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

The ministry's total budgetary expenditure is about 1.92 billion yuan this year, of which 1.12 billion yuan will be used to carry out 61 environmental protection projects.

Among the major projects listed, the ministry will use 100 million yuan for tasks, including nuclear and radiation safety monitoring, radioactive environment monitoring across the country and electromagnetic radiation at key facilities and offering technical support for supervising civilian nuclear facilities, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Another 50 million yuan will be used to assess technologies in ensuring safety of nuclear works.

The ministry also planned to allocate 220 million yuan this year for ensuring its environment monitoring and information gathering network runs smoothly.

China has already announced plans to upgrade emergency safety procedures like installing mobile power generators at nuclear plants to prevent the crisis faced by the Japanese nuclear reactors after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

China suspended approval of new nuclear power stations shortly after a 9.0-magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami- crippled Japan's nuclear plant, causing radioactive leaks.

The cabinet had ordered safety checks on nuclear facilities, including projects under construction, and a revision of safety standards to ensure the integrity of reactors.

China is building 12 nuclear plants in addition to the six in operation, with at least 25 in the pipeline. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said in September that it plans to invest 800 billion yuan (USD 123 billion) into nuclear energy projects by 2020.

PTI