China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) is launching a series of research and development (R&D) projects aimed at improving emergency response and accident management capability at its nuclear power plants.

The programme, due to be completed in 2013, is part of China’s response to the Fukushima nuclear accident. NEA said that it aims to use the lessons from Fukushima to improve the safety of China’s nuclear power plants and their resistance to extreme disasters.

Thirteen different projects have been announced, covering areas such as severe accident mitigation, beyond design basis earthquake and flooding, hydrogen control and radiation monitoring in case of an accident.

These R&D projects will be conducted by China National Nuclear Corporation, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, as well as other domestic organizations involved in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, NEA said.

The results of the research will be used to improve nuclear power plant technology that will lower the core damage frequency (CDF) and large early release frequencies (LERFs) of the reactors, NEA said.

The 13 R&D projects that have been announced are (translated from Chinese):

1. Development of passive emergency power supply and cooling water systems

2 Severe accident prevention and mitigation studies, and experimental verification

3, Seismic capacity and beyond design basis seismic margin analysis for CANDU plants

4. Research into beyond design basis (BDB) flooding and measures for mitigating spent fuel melting

5. Analysis of multiple simultaneous external events and response measures (for Qinshan and Daya Bay sites)

6. Beyond design basis accident mitigation equipment and systems R&D

7. Hydrogen control device R&D

8. Development of emergency rescue robots

9. Development of passive containment heat removal systems and the secondary side passive residual heat removal system

10. Radioactive contamination survey and measurement technology for major nuclear and radiation accidents

11. Radioactive effluent monitoring and radiation protection research in case of nuclear accident

12. Treatment of radioactive wastewater resulting from a nuclear accident

13. Nuclear accident, radionuclide-contaminated environment and emergency repair R&D

FilesReactor-by-reactor Fukushima Daiichi restoration progress summary as of 17 February, from JAIF