If the country's first nuclear reactor Qinshan-1 could run 40 years more than its design life of 30 years, the economic benefits saved from building another reactor of the same scale and the disposal of nuclear waste would be tremendous.
This will probably become a reality, according to the chief engineer of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Company at the second international symposium on PliM (plant life management) currently in session in Shanghai.
Life management of nuclear power plants (NPPs) is a new concept initiated by the Technical Working Group on Life Management of NPPs in 1990, with a view to providing NPPs with information, comments and advice on policies and strategies on ageing and life management.
Such management, if with proper procedures and accurate data, will make the operation performance of NPPs more economical and hopefully extend the design life of a reactor by 30 or 40 years.
International Database on Reactor Pressure Vessel Materials implemented in 1996 is an effort initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which calls for international participation and provides data for policy making related to life management of nuclear reactors.
Behind what the international cooperation on peaceful and economical use of nuclear reactor has achieved is the message that there is a broad prospect for joint efforts on an international basis in many other fields against the backdrop of globalization.
With the rapid increase of population, we humans are facing more and more problems that we have never encountered before such as global warming and environmental pollution. Some of these problems cannot expect to be solved by the efforts of a single nation, but rather international cooperation is sometimes more than necessary.
If the scheme to extend the life of nuclear reactors all over the world could be successful, the cooperation model could possibly be borrowed to deal with other hazards such as global warming, which poses a threat to the very existence of humans.
Globalization not only means modern communication and transport means, whose convenience has turned the world into a global village, but also suggests that people of different nationalities must pool together their wisdom and energy to make the globe a better place to live in.
(China Daily 10/19/2007 page9)