IAEA Team Completes China Advisory Mission

The team reported China maintains strong and sustainable nuclear security activities and identified a number of good practices, while making recommendations and suggestions for continuous improvement. It was headed by Joseph Sandoval, a member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories.

The International Atomic Energy Agency announced that a team of experts completed a nuclear security advisory mission in the People’s Republic of China on Sept. 8, a mission that was carried out at the request of the Chinese government. The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security, and also physical protection of nuclear material and facilities. The IPPAS team visited Fangjiashan Nuclear Power Plant, one of four nuclear power plants at Qinshan Nuclear Power Base, to review its security arrangements and observe the physical protection measures.

The mission also focused on China's implementation of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which China ratified in 2009 and which entered into force last year. It provides a strengthened framework for protecting nuclear material and facilities.

According to IAEA, "the team said China maintains strong and sustainable nuclear security activities. The team also identified a number of good practices, while making recommendations and suggestions for continuous improvement." It was headed by Joseph Sandoval, a member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, and included seven other experts from six states and IAEA. The team met in Beijing with officials from the China Atomic Energy Authority, the National Energy Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Nuclear Safety Administration, the General Administration of Customs, and other organizations involved in nuclear security.

"A strong commitment to nuclear security is a must for any state that uses nuclear power for electricity generation and that is planning to significantly expand this capacity by constructing new power reactors," said Muhammad Khaliq, head of IAEA's Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section. "China's example in applying IAEA Nuclear Security guidance and using IAEA advisory services demonstrates its strong commitment to nuclear security and its enhancement worldwide."

"We are satisfied with the report of this mission that serves as an independent review of our nuclear security regime," said Shen Lixin, deputy director general of the CAEA's Department of System Engineering. "I am very proud that the team could identify good practices to be shared with the international community."

This was the 77th IPPAS mission conducted by IAEA since the program began in 1995, and the the People's Republic of China was the 48th Member State to host an IPPAS mission.

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