China to Hold First Nuclear Drill Since 2009
China is planning to stage a national nuclear disaster drill next year in Guangdong which is home to some of the biggest and oldest commercial reactors in the country. The drill is called Shendun or the Heavenly Shield will be the first drill to be held since 2009.
The deputy director for the National Nuclear Emergency Response Office Yao Bin said that the drill will be larger in scale and is more sophisticated that the previous drills that were held in the recent years. Bin also said that these exercises will involve the participation of the Central Government, nuclear power plant operators and provincial authorities. The country has maintained a good nuclear safety record and has been developing nuclear power ofr more than 50 years now.
A nuclear safety coordinator for the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for the National Defense Huang Min have also said that the nuclear drill will stimulate the incident that happened in one of the refueling process wherein depleted uranium fuel rods were being replaced with new ones. No further details were given on the exercise as the plans are being finalized. But Min confirmed that he site for the nuclear drill has been chosen in Guangdong since the province has more nuclear reactors in operation and are being construction compared to other areas.
The country held its first national nuclear emergency drill around five years ago at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Station in Lianyungang City which stimulated a reactor leak. The drill consisted of military personnel and civilian government agencies mobilizing to contain the leak while residents practiced evacuating to safety zones.