BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's legislature on Friday passed a Nuclear Safety Law.
The legislation was adopted after a third reading at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which ended Friday.
The new law reflects China's rational, coordinated and balanced nuclear safety outlook, as well as its commitment to fulfilling obligations under international treaties.
The government will carry out international exchanges and cooperation to prevent and deal with the threat of nuclear terrorism, says the law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.
An inter-agency coordination mechanism for nuclear safety and a national committee in charge of emergency response to nuclear accidents will be established.
The law also details protocols for nuclear facility operators, who should provide adequate occupational protection and regular medical examinations for employees.
Operators must establish funds to cover treatment of spent fuel, radioactive waste and decommissioning. Radioactive waste should be minimized and treated properly.
Operators are also required to buy liability insurance, participate in a mutual support mechanism and make proper financial arrangements to guarantee the timely and effective fulfillment of compensation in the case of accidents.
An entire chapter is dedicated to the transparency of the industry, requiring the government to disclose results of supervision, the general safety situation, the radioactive environment quality and details of nuclear accidents.
On issues related to public interest, both local governments and facility operators are required to solicit public opinion. Public understanding and support are important to the healthy and sustainable development of nuclear energy, said Guo Chengzhan, deputy director of the National Nuclear Safety Administration.
China currently has 36 operational nuclear reactors and is building 20 more.
Based on the development plan and the energy strategy, the nuclear energy industry will grow even faster in the coming years, said Guo at a press conference after the conclusion of the bimonthly session.
By the end of 2020, China aims to have 58 million kilowatts of nuclear power capacity in operation and more than 30 million kilowatts under construction.