Nu­clear agen­cies could face big fines

Unau­tho­rized ac­tiv­i­ties can bring shut­downs as well un­der new law

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Nu­clear agen­cies can now be fined up to 5 mil­lion yuan ($762,000; 640,000 eu­ros; £590,000) if they set up nu­clear fa­cil­i­ties or con­duct re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties with­out au­tho­riza­tion, ac­cord­ing to the newly adopted Nu­clear Safety Law.

If they ig­nore warn­ings from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment su­per­vi­sion author­ity, they face sus­pen­sions or shut­downs.

The law was adopted by the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture, on Sept 1, and will take ef­fect in Jan­uary.

“Not only the nu­clear agency but also their of­fi­cials in charge will face pun­ish­ment, such as salary de­duc­tions,” says Tong Wei­dong, a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee’s Le­gal Af­fairs Com­mis­sion.

He says the law aims to en­sure nu­clear safety and reg­u­late the op­er­a­tion of the in­dus­try through stricter pun­ish­ment.

“Fines some­times don’t work well for nu­clear en­ter­prises, as some could earn mil­lions of yuan per day through gen­er­at­ing nu­clear elec­tric­ity, so we’ve de­cided to ex­pand the pun­ish­ments,” he says.

Mean­while, nu­clear agen­cies are re­quired to dis­close nu­clear-re­lated in­for­ma­tion — in­clud­ing a ra­di­a­tion index of the en­vi­ron­ment around nu­clear fa­cil­i­ties and their an­nual safety re­port — on lo­cal gov­ern­ment web­sites.

In ad­di­tion to more trans­parency, stricter su­per­vi­sion and heav­ier pun­ish­ments, “it’s more im­por­tant to in­crease the pub­lic’s knowl­edge of nu­clear safety”, says Guo Chengzhan, deputy di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Nu­clear Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Nu­clear agen­cies are en­cour­aged to co­op­er­ate with schools to pro­vide nu­clear safety train­ing, while dis­tribut­ing nu­clear safety ma­te­ri­als and re­lated rules in pub­lic places, he adds.

On Sept 1, leg­is­la­tors also voted and passed the Na­tional An­them Law, which stip­u­lates that peo­ple who dis­tort or dis­re­spect the na­tional an­them, or ma­li­ciously change the song’s lyrics or mu­sic, will face up to a 15-day ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ten­tion. More se­ri­ous cases may in­volve crim­i­nal pun­ish­ment, ac­cord­ing to the law.

The law, which will take ef­fect on Oct 1, clar­i­fies nine sit­u­a­tions in which peo­ple should use or play the an­them, such as in im­por­tant sports or diplo­matic events, or in cer­e­monies for gov­ern­ment de­part­ment con­fer­ences.

It also states the an­them should not be used as a trade­mark, in ad­ver­tise­ments or as back­ground mu­sic in pub­lic places, and it can­not be broad­cast at pri­vate funer­als.

PAN YULONG / XIN­HUA

Hongyanhe Nu­clear Power Plant in Dong­gang town, Wafang­dian, Liaon­ing prov­ince. The Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress adopted a new law re­cently to en­sure nu­clear safety and reg­u­late the op­er­a­tion of the in­dus­try through stricter pun­ish­ment.

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