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UPDATED: March 6, 2012
Scientist Calls for Confidence in China's Nuclear Power Safety

A Chinese scientist on Monday joined other political advisors expressing confidence in China's nuclear power industry, saying the country's nuclear power stations are safe.

"We should have full confidence in the nuclear power safety," Yang Qi, honorary president of the Nuclear Power Institute of China, said in a panel discussion during the annual session of the 11th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, China's top political advisory body.

Yang's remarks came just three days after Zhao Qizheng, a spokesman for the CPPCC session, said China will develop nuclear power in an "extremely safe" way.

The Fukushima nuclear crisis in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11 last year aroused concerns over the safety of China's own nuclear power stations among many Chinese general public.

Yang said since the world is coming to grips with the Fukushima nuclear accident last year, development of the nuclear power industry is now regaining momentum.

According to Yang, technologies used in China's operational nuclear power stations belong to the upgraded version of the second-generation nuclear reactors based on the French M310 technology.

With a number of technological assimilation and innovation, China's nuclear power stations in operation have adopted stricter disaster prevention and mitigation measures that are better than those used in most of the world's M310-based generating units, said Yang, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee.

He added that the safety of China's nuclear power stations, in operation or under construction, can be ensured as geologically, it is unlikely to see major tsunamis at those sites.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) said in February that it has launched a series of research and development (R&D) projects to improve emergency response mechanisms for nuclear power plants in case of extreme disasters.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2012)

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