Nuclear safety prioritized
Information on management rules and annual reports would be publicized
People will be better informed about nuclear-related information and be allowed to voice their opinions if they suspect they will be impacted by nuclear activities, according to a draft law released on Monday.
The draft law on nuclear safety, submitted to China’s top legislature for first reading, highlights the need for transparency of nuclear information and the importance of public participation, requiring governments and departments of nuclear-safety operations to publish nuclearrelated dataandsafety reports.
The draft is to be discussed in a bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which will run through Nov 7.
“China has made efforts to develop its nuclear industry in recent years, but following some high-profile nuclear accidents worldwide, how to ensure nuclear safety has become of great concern to many people,” said Zhang Yunchuan, vice-chairman of the NPC’s Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee.
Nuclear safety legislation will help the public understand nuclear developments and alleviate their concerns by improving supervision, Zhang said.
Lawmakers said that a twoyear research project conducted across the country showed that safety is a key concern, adding that nuclear activities and improved safety supervision relyonthe transparencyof information, Zhang said.
The draft states that nuclear safety management and supervision departments of the State Council and provincial governments where nuclear facilities operate should disclose necessary information, including reports of their nuclear activities and nuclear safety procedures.
The State Council is also required to report regularly to the NPC Standing Committee on whe the r nuclear activities or related operations are safe, it said.
Meanwhile, the draft requires nuclear facilities’ operation departments to make public information on management rules, radiation monitoring data and annual nuclear safety reports.
Departments that refuse to disclose such information will be fined up to 500,000 yuan ($73,800), the draft states.
All information should be disclosed through governmental websites, it said.
Liu Hua, chief engineer of nuclear safety at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, supports such transparency. “The disclosure of such information will enhance nuclear operations and benefit the whole industry,” he said.
The draft also stipulates that operation departments should solicit the opinions of people whomightbeaffectedbynuclear projects through questionnaires, seminars or meetings.
In addition, people are also given the right to report those that harm nuclear safety to the State Council’s supervision authority, it said. Zheng Jinran contributed to this story.
Major points in drafts or amended drafts that theNPCStandingCommittee is reading:
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It suggests better protectivemeasures for important industries, including public communications and information service, energy, transportation, finance and e-government service.
In the draft general rules for the civil code, which is undergoing its second review, courts are suggested to name a “temporary guardian” for children harmed by parents, before deciding who should become their permanent guardian.
A draft lawon the film industry, which is in the third discussion among lawmakers, states that those who disturb the film industry, such as by making counterfeit products, will be punished, and it aims to improve facilities for film-watching in villages by using social funds.
The legislature is reviewing a draft revision to the Lawon the Red Cross Society, in amove to increase supervision of its fund usage and to improve its credibility.
The top legislature is considering amending a law that supports small and mediumsized businesses for the first time since it was adopted in 2003. The current law “is not specific in its supporting policies” and is “not easy to implement”, according to the legislature.
Rescuers transport an ‘injured’ person during a drill that simulated nuclear leakage in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, last year.