China, which has the largest number of nuclear power plants, today passed a nuclear safety law to ensure the safe use of nuclear energy. The legislation was adopted after a third reading at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislative body. The new law clarified China’s rational, coordinated and balanced nuclear safety outlook and its commitment to fulfilling international obligations under binding treaties, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China should carry out international exchanges and cooperation in nuclear safety to prevent and deal with the threat of nuclear terrorism, the law said. Under the new law, the government is required to set up an inter-agency coordination mechanism for nuclear safety and a national committee in charge of emergency response to nuclear accidents. The law also introduced a set of protocols for nuclear facility operators based on their full responsibility for nuclear safety. The law will go into effect January 1, 2018. China currently has 23 nuclear power generating units in operation and 27 under construction, about one-third of the world’s unfinished nuclear units.