China announces inspection programme for country's nuclear plants and uranium mines
18 September 2015
Chinese environmental regulators announced on September 13 that they will be conducting safety inspections at the country’s nuclear power plants. The move comes after the massive toxic chemical explosions in Tianjin which killed at least 174, injured hundreds more and made thousands homeless.
Lianyungang nuclear power station in eastern China
Xinhua reported that the Ministry of Environmental Protection will start a two-month-long inspection of the country's nuclear power plants, nuclear manufacturing plants and uranium mines. The nuclear facilities will have to show that their safety protocols and equipment are up to standard.
Local government authorities will also be required to conduct their own safety inspections of nuclear facilities under their jurisdiction.
China has 26 nuclear plants currently in operation and another 25 that are in various stages of completion, according to the World Nuclear Association. The country expects to be producing around 58 GW of nuclear-generated electricity in five years time.
China has decided to increase nuclear generation to reduce its dependence to coal, which is a major contributor to the country’s serious air pollution problems.
So far, no Chinese nuclear power plant has been reported to have suffered a serious incident.