China’s parliament on 1 September passed a new nuclear safety law to improve regulation in the nuclear power sector, giving more powers to the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA). 

It establishes new systems to improve the disclosure of information on issues such as radiation and to prevent or minimise risks from nuclear accidents.

The new law aims to identify the roles of the government, the military and state-owned nuclear enterprises in the handling of nuclear materials and the disposal of used fuel. 

The legislation, which will go into effect on 1 January 2018, was adopted after a third reading at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislative body. The law proposes that China should carry out international cooperation in nuclear safety. It requires the government to set up an inter-agency coordination mechanism for nuclear safety and a national committee in charge of the emergency response to nuclear accidents. It also introduced a set of protocols for nuclear facility operators based on their full responsibility for nuclear safety. 

China has 37 nuclear power reactors in operation, 20 under construction.