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Draft law to boost energy development

By CAO YIN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-04-24 07:07

Employees install solar panels at a village in Tangshan, Hebei province. ZHANG YONGXIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

A draft law being reviewed by Chinese legislators would require the improvement of energy development and utilization, and provide support for nonfossil and low-carbon energy.

The 69-article draft energy law was submitted for first review on Tuesday to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

While lauding achievements in energy development, Li Chunlin, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also pointed out challenges such as inadequate structural adjustment, low levels of clean and efficient utilization, a weak reserve system and deficiencies in technological innovation.

"Formulating the law is of great significance in promoting high-quality energy development and ensuring national energy security," he said while explaining the draft law to national legislators on Tuesday.

The draft clarifies the direction for energy structure adjustment and supports the priority development of renewable energy and the promotion of clean, efficient and intensive utilization of energy resources.

Power, gas and heat energy supply companies should ensure safe, continuous and reliable energy services, it said, urging energy transmission pipeline facilities to improve operational safety.

In addition, it encourages the development of energy in rural areas, requiring the establishment and improvement of the energy emergency response system.

It also supports research and development, and the demonstration and widespread application of major technologies and equipment in key, foundational and cutting-edge areas of the sector.

On Tuesday, the NPC Standing Committee also began reviewing a draft atomic energy law to enhance the sound and sustainable development of the atomic energy industry.

"Our country lacks a fundamental law in the field of atomic energy, although in recent years we've already had over 10 laws and regulations related to nuclear matters, which have made specific provisions for nuclear safety and the prevention and control of radioactive pollution," said Zhang Kejian, head of the China Atomic Energy Authority.

"From an international perspective, it is common practice for nuclear powers and countries engaged in peaceful atomic energy development to use legal norms to regulate and promote the research, development and utilization of atomic energy activities," he told national lawmakers on Tuesday.

"Therefore, it's necessary for our country to formulate the atomic energy law to boost the healthy and sustainable development of the industry, and to uphold our nation's image as a responsible nuclear power."

The 53-article draft highlights the principle behind the utilization of atomic energy, which is to protect the environment and ensure the safety of people's health and property.

The draft stipulates that the country should strengthen scientific research and technological development in nuclear energy, with exploration of cutting-edge technologies and the promotion of training for talent in the field.

It allows the peaceful use of atomic energy in industrial and agricultural areas, stating that the application of nuclear reactors and nuclear technologies should be regulated and advanced.

Additionally, it underscores the significance of strengthening safety supervision and management, explicitly prohibiting the delay, concealment or false reporting of nuclear accidents.

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