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Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 09:29

Nuke energy: IAEA lauds key China role

By Xinhua

Nuke energy: IAEA lauds key China role
In this file photograph dated Aug 27, 2012 The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukia Amano (left) sits alongside the President of the conference Li Ganjie from China's national nuclear safety administration, during the opening ceremony of the "2nd Extraordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety" in V ienna. (AFP PHOTO / DIETER NAGL)

VIENNA - The development of nuclear energy is shifting increasingly toward Asia with China playing a central role, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said on Monday.

Following a meeting with Chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Xu Dazhe, also the head of Chinese delegation to the IAEA General Conference, Amano acknowledged that nuclear power "has a future," and that Asia is becoming the "center of expansion. "

"It is very encouraging to note that China is developing new technologies with an emphasis on safety features," he added.

Speaking to journalists, Xu acknowledged the great importance China has attached to its cooperation with the IAEA. As part of this China has announced it will donate 2 million euros (US$2.3 million) for laboratory construction.

He said the nuclear power plants currently under construction in China account for 40 percent of the total around the world. While such clean energy is being developed, ensuring safety measures are in place is also paramount, he said.

Xu pointed out the successful development of a third-generation nuclear reactor design, known as the Hualong One, as an example of China's advancements in the field of nuclear technology.

China has been a member state of IAEA for more than 31 years.

Amano said he had earlier been shown two such technologies developed in China, and was aware that many others are also currently in development, again stressing that for the future of nuclear power use to be "secured," these improved safety features are "very important."

Cooperation between China and the IAEA is also increasing, he said, as evidenced by the appointment of Chinese national Yang Dazhu as one of the IAEA Deputy Directors General.

Amano said one of the greatest challenges for nuclear power is at present social acceptance, with public confidence in nuclear power negatively impacted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.

The IAEA has released a report on the disaster at the conference, he added, and hoped it would be a good source to "learn lessons to strengthen safety."

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