Operator stands by safety measures

Updated: 2013-07-04 01:57

By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

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A major nuclear power plant operator in Guangdong province said its facilities can handle a range of scenarios, from a terrorist attack to an earthquake.

Tan Jiansheng, deputy general manager of China General Nuclear Power Corp, one of China's major nuclear power corporations, said the company has implemented a series of safety measures for any possible emergency.

"Our company (can) cover 17 possible scenarios such as a nuclear accident, a terrorist attack, an electricity breakdown, earthquakes and tsunamis," Tan said. "We carry out a considerable number of emergency exercises each year and every professional in the company who is related to our emergency response system is engaged in such drills to test their readiness."

General Nuclear Power Corp manages four nuclear power plants and eight reactors throughout China. By the end of June, its operating reactors will be able to produce more than 8,300 MWe, or megawatts of electrical output, of nuclear power. Its 14 reactors under construction are expected to have a total capacity exceeding 16,600 MWe.

In April 2011, the corporation's Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant Operations and Management won an unprecedented four of six awards in the annual nuclear power plant safety competition held by France's EDF, the largest electric utility company in the world.

It is the best performance by a Chinese company. The Daya Bay plant, located near Shenzhen, Guangdong province, is also the only facility to garner that many awards in a year since the competition began in 1999.

"Our Daya Bay nuclear power plant organizes 15 to 20 specific drills each year and has conducted 12 large exercises since 2006," said Tan, adding that its largest emergency drill involved nearly 2,000 residents in Shenzhen.

Tan said the plant's emergency response team has more than 100 professionals in equipment maintenance, nuclear safety, logistics as well as health departments. He said the corporation was the first in the industry to create a website that will release information concerning its plants' nuclear and radiation safety if an incident or accident occurs. That safety information is then made public on its website within two business days.

Zhao Fuming, deputy chief engineer of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant Operations and Management, said the corporation understands the impact of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011, but said it is unlikely that the plant will encounter a similar disaster because of its precautionary measures.