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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Fact Sheet:China: Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China


1. China supports the efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. China also holds the view that the non-proliferation should not undermine the right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy of each country, especially that of the developing countries. In this connection, we support international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear weapons.

2. China actively participates in all kinds of activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Since its accession to the IAEA in 1984, China has devoted itself to the realization of the two main objectives set by the Statute of the IAEA, namely, the prevention of nuclear proliferation and promotion of international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. China actively participates in the negotiation and drafting process of relevant international conventions in nuclear field. China has signed or joined 13 international conventions or agreements in this regard, including:

    The Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (7 August, 1985)

    The Agreement Establishing the Asian Regional Co-operation Project on Food Irradiation (1 February, 1987)

    The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (11 October, 1987)

    The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (11 October, 1987)

    The Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (9 February, 1989)

    The Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Safeguards in China (18 September, 1989)

    Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistant by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Government of the People's Republic of China (22 June, 1990)

    The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (9 March, 1992)

    The Convention on Nuclear Safety (9 April, 1996)

    The Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the International Atomic Energy Agency (28 March, 2002)

    China took an active part in the drafting and consultation of the Joint Convention of the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Waste Radiological Management. China has begun relevant works towards joining the Convention.

3. China supports and actively participates in the Agency's technical cooperation activities and always, pays its contribution to the Technical Cooperation Fund in full and in time. Under the principle of "active participation, receive and contribute", China has contributed to the technological activities through donation of money, human resources, or in kind while receiving the Agency's assistance. By the end of 2002, China had contributed technical cooperation fund to the Agency to an accumulation amount of US$ 11,700,000 (including RCA and Extra- Budgetary Fund), provided equipments worth about US$ 8,763,100, sent 646 person-times experts to other countries and hosted training tours and scientific visits for 227 person-times of foreign experts. China has also made its contribution to development in peaceful uses of nuclear energy of the world through hosting the Agency's training activities, which provided other member states with professional training for 918 person-times.

This year makes the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the IAEA. China plans to provide extra contribution to the Agency demonstrating of its support to the Agency's technical cooperation activities and peaceful uses of nuclear energy in developing countries.

China always actively supports and takes part in the Agency's activity in nuclear safety field. In the coming October, China will host an International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety together with the Agency in Beijing. The conference will discuss about how to improve nuclear facility's safety in the new situation. China will make its contribution to the success of the conference with the Agency.

4. China always holds the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, actively engages in international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and establishes mutually-beneficial cooperation and economic exchanges with many countries to achieve common development.

    Based on the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit, China has signed intergovernmental agreements of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with 16 countries, including the France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Republic of Korea, United States, etc. These agreements have laid down the foundation for exchanges and cooperation in the nuclear field between China and these countries.

    China has carried out extensive and fruitful exchanges and cooperation with many developed countries, including personnel exchanges, and trade in equipment and technologies. China has exported nuclear materials to the United States, Japan and Canada. China has imported nuclear power plant equipment and technologies from France, Canada, Russia, Japan and Republic of Korea.

     As a developing country with some industrial nuclear capabilities, China attaches great importance to its cooperation with other developing countries and always tries its best to provide them with assistance to the best of its ability. For example, China has cooperated with Pakistan in building Chashma nuclear power plant, exported neutron-source mini-reactor to Ghana and Algeria and helped Ghana build a centre for tumour treatment.

    China firmly supports all kinds of activities aimed at promoting nuclear technology development and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In October 2002, China successfully held the 13th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference in Shenzhen, which was the second time for China to host the conference. The conference made positive contribution to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy not only in this region but also the world at large.

5. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Since early 1980s, nuclear power, as the main aspect of peaceful uses, has gained fast development. At present, the total installed capacity of nuclear power plants in China amounts to 9,000,000 KW. The operational nuclear power plants have been running well. To achieve sustainable economical and environmental development, nuclear power, as a clean and safe energy, will play a more and more important role in China's future energy structure. China will stick to the principle of "cooperating with international partners with China playing the major role, introducing technology and promoting localization", actively carry out international cooperation, study and introduce advanced technologies in various forms.

6. The Chinese Government has all alone taken effective measures to ensure nuclear safety, guarantee the health of the staff and the public, and protect the environment. Learning from international experiences, China has established a relatively complete nuclear safety management, monitoring and emergency response system. China's nuclear industry has maintained a good record in terms of safe operation and environmental protection. There has been no major accident with the Chinese nuclear industry.

China has issued many laws and regulations, such as the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Civil Nuclear Establishment Safety Surveillance, the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Nuclear Material Control, Emergency Management Regulations for Nuclear Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants. In October 2003, the Chinese Government issued the Law of the People's Republic of China on Radioactive Pollution Prevention and Control. China is speeding up the relevant legislative work on a Law on Atomic Energy to promote healthy and comprehensive development of the nuclear industry.

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