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Chinese nuclear plant safe from disasters

04-07-2011 08:30 BJT

Beginning operations in 1991, the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Zhejiang Province, is the first self-designed, self-constructed, and self-run atomic facility in China. While the issue of nuclear safety has been a major concern over the past few weeks, Zhao Yunjie explains why the plant is safe against natural disasters.

In light of the escalating nuclear tragedy in Japan, operators of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant say the facility is unlikely to be damaged by an earthquake, because it is not situated on any seismic belts.

The most likely danger Qinshan faces will come from a typhoon or ensuing flood.

So, as a precaution, all the buildings around the plant have been reinforced.

They can now withstand powerful typhoons of up to 66 meters per second, while the strongest wind in the locality on record is 27 meters per second.

Li Dakuan, General Manager of Qinshan No. 3 Nuclear Plant said "The usual high tide here is 2.8 meters, with the highest being 6.5 meters on record. We calculate that in the worst case, it could reach over 9 meters if several tides take place simultaneously. Still, our wave wall is almost 13 meters high."

Assessed by the World Association of Nuclear Operators and the IAEA, Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant is far above the global average, in terms of technology and safety.

All five reactors can automatically stop operation in case of an emergency. The reactor shells can also prevent most radioactive releases. And in case of power failure, the backup diesel generators will start operation in just 30 seconds.

But, drawing lessons from the neighboring country's nuclear failure, the operators are now thinking about ways to make the place even safer.

He Xiaojian, General Manager of Qinshan Nuclear Power Company said "Though we are equipped with many diesel generators, we are considering having one mobile diesel generator, in case the existing generators are flooded and fail to work."

Qinshan is not the only nuclear power plant in China that prioritizes safety.

The nuclear crisis in Japan has served as a wake-up call to the government, to look seriously at nuclear safety. The Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant in Shenzhen, China's first commercial nuclear power plant, was opened to the media last month. And checks have been requested at facilities across the country.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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