National Progress Report: China

Since the third Nuclear Security Summit in March 2014, guided by a sensible, coordinated and balanced approach to nuclear security proposed by President Xi Jinping, China has comprehensively promoted its nuclear security, taken active measures to implement the outcomes of the previous summits. China has been continuously committed to improving its national nuclear security system and strengthening international nuclear security architecture, and has made significant progress in areas such as construction and operation of the national Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security, strengthening management of nuclear and radioactive material, combating illicit trafficking of nuclear material, enhancing nuclear emergency response capability, improving nuclear cyber security and establishing a radiation environment monitoring system. 

1. Improving national nuclear security system

It is the fundamental responsibility of each country to maintain security of its nuclear material and facilities. China is dedicated to improving its national nuclear security system, enhancing nuclear security capabilities and boosting nuclear security culture.

(1) Strengthening the top-level planning for nuclear security. China has brought nuclear security into its general national security system, and defined the strategic significance of nuclear security. The National People’s Congress has passed State Security Law in July 2015 and Anti-Terrorism Law in December 2015, which made it clear in legal terms that nuclear security is a vital aspect of national security and anti-terrorism issues, and formulated specific tasks and measures of nuclear security. China is making steady progress in promoting legislations on atomic energy and on nuclear safety, both of which have been included in the legislative agenda of the National People’s Congress.

(2) Improving nuclear security regulations and standards. China has been in the process of drafting Nuclear Security Regulations, which is being reviewed by the State Council. China has promulgated series of standardization documents such as administrative measures on inspection of nuclear material management, reporting of nuclear materials management,and registration of nuclear material. China has also amended the Regulations on Emergency Response to the Nuclear Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants

(3) Strengthening nuclear security capabilities. China has been promoting infrastructure and appliances construction, enhancing law enforcement capabilities and awareness of nuclear security of relevant personnel, and encouraging nuclear industries to adopt relevant guidelines and standards mainly in priority areas such as security of nuclear materials, nuclear facilities, radioactive sources, nuclear materials export control and combating illicit trafficking. China has been pushing forward the construction of the National Base for Research and Development of Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security Monitoring Technologies, and strengthening such capabilities.

(4) Boosting nuclear security culture. In September 2014, Ministry of Environmental Protection, National Energy Administration and China Atomic Energy Authority jointly published the Policy Statement on Nuclear Security Culture, which calls on the nuclear industry and the whole society to strengthen nuclear security culture. China has also positively carried out publicity activities focusing on promoting nuclear security culture, and is in the process of establishing a mechanism on long-term and constant evaluation.

2. Strengthening the international nuclear security system

China is dedicated to building an international nuclear security system featuring fairness and win-win cooperation, which provides a strong and sustainable institutional guarantee to make sure that nuclear energy benefit human beings in a safe and secure way.  

(1) Strengthening international legal instruments on nuclear security

China has ratified the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its amendment, and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. China consistently and faithfully fulfills its international legal obligations, and positively promotes the universality and effectiveness of relevant conventions. China strictly implements United Nations Security Council  Resolution 1373, Resolution 1540, Resolution 1887 and other anti-terrorism and non-proliferation related resolutions. China will continue to support the United Nations General Assembly to adopt nuclear security related resolutions.

(2) Supporting the work of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

China supports the central role of the IAEA in international cooperation on nuclear security and has provided all-around support, including political, technical and financial support to the IAEA.

China has positively carried out cooperation with the IAEA in areas such as nuclear materials security, radioactive sources monitoring, and nuclear and radiation emergency response. China has recommended experts to participate in the formulation of IAEA nuclear security documents, and hosted workshops in China jointly with the IAEA, which has trained over 400 man-times of nuclear security personnel from China and other countries. China also joined the Response and Assistance Network of the IAEA.

China supports the IAEA to conduct International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) on nuclear security. In September 2015, China formally invited the IAEA to undertake an IPPAS mission at both national and facility levels in China and the mission will be formally carried out in 2016. China has also invited the IAEA to undertake an Integrated Regulatory Review Services(IRRS) follow-up mission in 2016.

China continuously makes contribution to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund, with a view to promoting nuclear security capacity building of China as well as other regional countries in Asia. Till the end of 2015, China has donated 1.15 million US dollars to this Fund. China will give positive considerations to increasing the annual amount of donation, and will continue to donate nuclear security equipment developed by China.    

(3) Actively participating in international exchanges and cooperation

China welcomes other relevant organizations and mechanisms, apart from the IAEA, to play an important role in nuclear security area in accordance with their respective mandates while enhancing synergy and coordination among themselves. China has been deeply involved in the work of the 1540 Committee of the United Nations Security Council. China received the first country visit by the 1540 Committee in October 2014, and hosted a training course on UNSC Resolution 1540 implementation for Points of Contacts in the Asia-Pacific region. China also actively participates in meetings and exercises on nuclear security organized under frameworks of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, International Criminal Police Organization, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and Asia-Europe Meeting(ASEM), among others. 

China highly values policy exchanges and practical cooperation in nuclear security between countries. In September 2015, President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Obama agreed to establish an annual bilateral nuclear security dialogue mechanism. The first round of dialogue was held on 20 February 2016, which further deepened bilateral coordination and cooperation on international nuclear security issues. China also constantly conducts consultations and exchanges on nuclear security issues with countries such as Russia,France,United Kingdom, India, Republic of Korea, and Pakistan.

China welcomes the gift baskets proposed by Participating States of the Nuclear Security Summit and will formally sign up for gift baskets including “Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation” and “Sustaining Actions to Promote Global Nuclear Security”.

3. Establishment and Operation of Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security

The Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security (COE) of China, constructed with cooperation between China and the U.S., was completed one year ahead of schedule in December 2015, and went into formal operation in March 2016. The COE has integrated mature and advanced technology and equipment from both China and other countries, including technology demonstration and training building, analytical laboratory, environmental laboratory, mock nuclear material bunker, mock facility for nuclear material accounting and control, response force training and drill facility, testing field for physical protection, international first class education&training facility as well as supporting facilities. The main functions of the COE include personnel training, research and development, international exchange, as well as testing and certification, covering a variety of areas such as nuclear security, nuclear safeguards and inspection, nuclear material control, physical protection and ect.. The COE is a nuclear security exchange and training center with the largest scale,most comprehensive equipment and most advanced facilities in Asia Pacific Region and even beyond.

China will actively fulfill commitments by President Xi Jinping at the third Nuclear Security Summit, and take this COE as a platform to promote further exchanges and cooperation with other counties, the IAEA and relevant international organizations, thereby make contribution to strengthening nuclear security in the Asia Pacific region and the entire world.

4. Enhancing the security of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

China pays great attention to the safety and security of HEU and supports minimizing the use of HEU where technically and economically feasible. The core of the HEU research reactor in Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy was discharged in September 2015. The conversion of this reactor to using Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) was completed in March 2016 by Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy. The project of converting Ghana’s HEU research reactor is steadily making progress. The project entered implementation stage after China and Ghana signed in September 2014 an agreement for assistance in securing LEU for a research reactor. With the signing of a commercial contract between China and the United States in December 2015, production of LEU fuel elements for Ghana’s research reactor started.   

 China stands ready to consult with relevant countries on conversion of its China-origin HEU research reactors subject to voluntariness and feasibility, and is also willing to share with international community its experience and expertise in converting research reactors from using HEU to LEU.

5. Strengthening management of radioactive sources

China supports promoting radioactive sources application in civil areas with the precondition of strict management and ensuring security, and works hard to enhance its domestic radioactive sources security. China strictly follows the security standards of radioactive sources management, which cover all related aspects including production, sales, transportation, use and storage of the radioactive sources. China has made comprehensive efforts to upgrade the security level of radioactive waste repositories in various cities in China, completed compilation of the document “Security Requirements for Radioactive Waste Repositories in Cities” and conducted cooperation with the United States on radioactive sources security. China conducted security inspections of over 15,000 users of radioactive sources and properly disposed of disused radioactive sources. China also works to promote capacity building of radioactive sources security, actively hosts training courses and field exercises, promotes research and development of radioactive sources security technologies, and is conducting research on a tracking system of high-risk mobile radioactive sources, as well as technical protection measures of radiation devices.

 6. Combating illicit trafficking of nuclear materials

China takes combating illicit trafficking of nuclear material as the key element in preventing the acts of nuclear terrorism, and has always attached great importance to non-proliferation export control. China has been continuously strengthening the construction of the gateway ports in taking precautions against illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material, and has installed nationwide over 1000 radiation detecting equipments of various types at sea, air, highway and railway ports. China has enlarged the radiation inspection and detection coverage in key ports of large scale, and will soon achieve 100% radiation inspection and detection of all the inbound and outbound containers at Yangshan Port in Shanghai and Dongjiang Bonded Port in Tianjin. China has improved the law enforcement personnel’s ability and has held in China Customs Training Center for Radiation Detection 45 training courses on radiation detection and commodity identification for over 1280 officials from both domestic and abroad, as well as about 30 customs’ part-time trainers. China has timely amended and strictly implemented The Nuclear and Nuclear Dual-Use Items Export Control List with reference to the latest control list of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and started to implement the latest Nuclear Export Control List from January 1st, 2016. China has signed cooperation documents with the U.S. and Russia on preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material, and conducted joint exercise with Russia on preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material on borders in October 2015.

7. Strengthening nuclear emergency response capability

China has established a fairly comprehensive system of legislations, regulations and standards on nuclear emergency response,and has been constantly improving its nuclear emergency response plans and coordination mechanisms. China has strengthened nuclear emergency response capability building, enhanced communication and exchange with the general public,and actively conducted nuclear emergency response exercises. China is making efforts to strengthen technology support team and rescue force for national nuclear emergency response,and is building a nuclear emergency rescue force of 320 people. In June 2015, China conducted a nation-level exercise on nuclear emergency response coded ‘Shengdun-2015’, with 2900 participants. Delegates from France, Pakistan and the IAEA observed the exercise. In January 2016, China issued the white paper “China’s Nuclear Emergency Preparedness”, which gives a comprehensive introduction of China’s nuclear emergency response guidelines, achievements and future prospects.    

8. Enhancing nuclear cyber security

China attaches great importance to nuclear cyber security. China has been continuously enhancing related legislations, strengthening management on information security of industrial control system and cyber security in the internet industry, and enhancing capability to ensure information security and cyber security of nuclear industry. China has put in place cyber security requirements for the management of industry control system and is exploring the possibility of establishing a security risk notice mechanism. China has strengthened protection of internet infrastructure and operation system, and conducted risk assessment regularly. China has enhanced emergency response capabilities concerning cyber security incidents, and conducted a number of exercises in this regard. China has improved its capability to prevent cyber attack on the public internet, and strengthened internet data protection.

9. Establishing radiation environment monitoring system

China has established a fairly comprehensive national radiation environment monitoring network, which conducts radiation environment quality monitoring as well as monitoring of nuclear facilities of national priority for both supervision and emergency response purposes. All the provinces have established provincial-level radiation environment monitoring networks. The national radiation environment monitoring network includes radiation environment and air automatic monitoring stations, and 1400 quality monitoring spots for land, water, marine organism, soil and electromagnetic radiation. All the monitoring data are open to the public.

The fourth Nuclear Security Summit will be held in Washington D.C. of the United States from 31st March to 1st April 2016. China is willing to work with all parties to make this summit a success. After the summit process concludes, China will continuously take part in a deep way in the international nuclear security process,  commit to strengthen the international nuclear security system, and make contribution to strengthen global nuclear security and achieve common nuclear security for all.