China: a weak regulator

China: a weak regulator

Li Ganjie, China’s vice Minister of Environmental Protection (MEP) and administrator of the National Nuclear Safety Authority (NNSA) is a well-known advocate of the transparency and internationalization of the Chinese regulations in the nuclear and radiation protection areas.

A team of 14 experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted recently a peer review, an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission, during ten days at the request of the NNSA.

The team objective was the evaluation of existing laws, regulations, guidelines and other documents with the MEP, NNSA and senior management of regulated agencies, such as the Nuclear Radiation Safety Center.

According to the IAEA team, and the “politically correct wording, we consider the following weaknesses have been raised:

  • China’s regulatory framework does not keep pace with the country’s nuclear energy program.
  • Lack of effort in managing long-term operation of nuclear power plants.
  • Lack of planning and investment in waste management.
  • The national policy and strategy to manage radioactive waste does not reflect the planned expansion of nuclear power.
  • The Nuclear Safety Act is still not drafted, which is supposed to set out fundamental safety principles.
  • The Act does not ensure the independence of MEP/NNSA as a regulatory body.
  • The NNSA is still linked to other entities with responsibilities or interests that influence its decision-making (for example the HAF 604 regulation is clearly a measure of protectionism).

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About Author

Elaine Li

Elaine Li (李益楠) is Marketing Manager for the Chinese Market. With ten years of experience in the nuclear power market, Elaine is experts for the certification of safety equipment (HAF 604 and 601) and marketing intelligence.