Rules to manage radioactive waste

Updated: 2011-12-29 22:25


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BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao has signed a decree of the State Council, releasing a regulation aimed at strengthening safety management of radioactive waste, protecting the environment and safeguarding human health.

Units engaged in operating nuclear facilities should hand over obsolete radioactive sources that cannot be recycled to licensed organizations for storage or disposal, according to the regulation, which was released Thursday by Xinhua.

A safety buffer zone should be kept between facilities disposing radioactive solid waste and residential areas, water-supply sources, transportation arteries, and factories and enterprises, the rules state.

Also, the sites of the facilities should be thoroughly evaluated in terms of their geological structure, hydrogeological conditions, as well as socio-economic conditions before construction.

In addition, the regulation requires that units operating nuclear facilities or using nuclear technologies and those preserving or disposing radioactive solid waste should establish and improve their security systems in accordance with the potential harm of the waste, and conduct emergency drills against radioactive waste contamination.

Any unit and individual is entitled to report violations of the regulation to government environmental protection departments above the county level or other relevant departments, according to the rules.

The regulation takes effect March 1, 2012.