|Statement by Mr. Li Sen from the Chinese Delegation on the Issue of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference|
New York, 11 May 2009
Peaceful uses of nuclear energy, as one of the major objectives of the NPT, should be discussed in an extensive and in-depth manner during the 2010 Review process.
China always believes that peaceful uses of nuclear energy and non-proliferation reinforce rather than conflict with each other. They should be addressed in a balanced manner. Promoting application of civil nuclear technology and strengthening international cooperation for peaceful purposes is not only conducive to social and economic development, but also beneficial to preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Recent years have witnessed a world-wide renaissance of nuclear energy due to factors including economic development, energy supply, and response to climate change. More and more countries are showing interest in and attaching importance to nuclear energy. Many countries are reviewing the strategic status of nuclear energy in energy security and take nuclear energy development as an important option for meeting energy demands and optimizing energy mix. In this context, the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy enjoyed by NPT States Parties should be even more respected and safeguarded. This is of great significance for advancing all NPT objectives and ensuring its universality, authority and effectiveness.
Over the years, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been earnestly fulfilling its relevant mandates entrusted by the Statute and providing assistance to its member states in the field of nuclear power, nuclear safety and nuclear technology application. Its work is an important contribution to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Under the new circumstances, the IAEA should further meet the demands of member states and vigorously step up activities of technical cooperation. We call upon all member states, particularly the developed countries, to pay more attention and offer more support to technical cooperation, so as to ensure comprehensive and balanced operation in all fields by the IAEA.
There have emerged a number of initiatives with regard to multilateral nuclear supply mechanisms. China is in general open to those initiatives and willing to take an active part in relevant discussions.
Since the initiatives involve political, economic, technical and legal aspects, it is necessary for the international community to conduct in-depth discussions and studies to seek an approach acceptable to all. The IAEA can play an important role in this process.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, in order to optimize energy mix and achieve sustainable energy, economic and social development, China has formulated a strategy of actively developing nuclear power and has incorporated nuclear energy into its national plan for energy development. China's nuclear energy sector has entered a new phase of rapid development.
China attaches great importance to nuclear safety in nuclear energy development. China has acceded to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management successively. China has put in place of legal system for nuclear safety, and systems for nuclear regulation and nuclear emergency response which are consistent with international standards. Nuclear facilities in China have maintained a good track record for safe operation. China also applies stringent management and protection measures to nuclear materials and facilities, and actively participates in international cooperation in physical protection. China conducted fruitful cooperation with the IAEA and other countries in nuclear security during its preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games. China is willing to share its experiences with other countries.
China attaches importance to international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and has signed intergovernmental agreements on peaceful uses of nuclear energy with over 20 countries. China has conducted extensive exchanges and cooperation with these countries and achieved fruitful results. On April 20-22, the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century organized by the IAEA and hosted by the Chinese Government was held successfully in Beijing. Delegates from more than 60 countries attended the conference. They exchanged experiences on nuclear energy development, discussed nuclear energy development strategies and achieved extensive consensus. China will as always cooperate with all parties in the international community to make new contributions to the promotion of global nuclear energy development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.