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Chinese expert warns of nuclear talents vacuum
Updated: 2009-03-03 19:31

China is in great need of nuclear science talents from the young generation, a nuclear physicist said in Beijing on Tuesday.

Zhu Zhiyuan, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Branch, said China must step up efforts to attract and cultivate more young nuclear talents, in order to meet the demand of the country's future development.

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China, realizing the huge potential of the nuclear power as a "clean energy", has already strengthened nuclear science education in recent years, said Zhu, who is here to attend the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body.

However, these efforts could not at once make up for the lack of nuclear specialist education in the country caused by previous insufficient attention towards the field for more than a decade.

"Many young people at the time were simply afraid of nuclear technologies, while others assumed the prospect of nuclear power as unpromising," Zhu said.

Even now, few of the students enrolled in nuclear physics departments of Chinese universities or research institutes chose the field as their top choice, Zhu said, adding that he himself chose the subject inspired by Nobel Laureate Lee Tsung-Dao and Yang Chen-ning back in the 1970s along with many youths of his age.

He said the country's development of nuclear power and the civil or medical use of nuclear technologies are both indispensable from the cultivation of nuclear talents.

"China now needs a batch of young ambitious people to devote themselves to the nuclear science, to explore the world of physics," Zhu said.

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