Several agreements were signed between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Chinese entities during the opening day of IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi's first official visit to China since taking office in 2019.
The signing of agreements between the IAEA and CAEA (Image: CAEA)
At the invitation of the China Atomic Energy Agency (CAEA), Grossi is visiting China from 22 to 26 May. He will meet with several high-level officials and visit nuclear facilities and institutions in Beijing, Shanghai and Shandong during his visit.
"China is one of the IAEA's most important partners and a global leader in nuclear energy," Grossi said. "This week's agenda will cover the remarkable progress of China's nuclear energy programme, cooperation in nuclear applications and indispensable exchanges on non-proliferation and nuclear safety."
On 22 May, Grossi and other IAEA officials signed several agreements at the CAEA. The IAEA said the agreements will strengthen cooperation on small modular reactors, nuclear fusion, and nuclear data, fuel cycle and waste management, as well as communication activities. An agreement was also signed in support of Rays of Hope, the IAEA initiative to promote cancer care for all by improving availability of radiotherapy services, medical imaging and nuclear medicine that are critical for detecting and curing this disease.
"I thank CAEA Chairman Zhang Kejian for the wide-ranging and open exchange on all areas of our rich bilateral agenda, from China's nuclear energy programme to technical cooperation, non-proliferation and nuclear safety and security," Grossi said.
China has been a member of the IAEA since 1984 and is currently involved in 93 IAEA technical cooperation projects - spanning national, regional and interregional activities - in addition to 49 coordinated research projects.
Grossi yesterday designated China's Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre as an IAEA Collaborating Centre, highlighting the country's commitment to nuclear safety and the potential to strengthen bilateral relations. China is also home to two other IAEA Collaborating Centres: the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences for research, development and capacity building of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture, and the CAEA for research, development, testing and training on nuclear security detection and physical protection technologies.
Grossi also visited China's State Nuclear Security Technology Centre, on the outskirts of Beijing. "Nuclear security is an essential component for the successful development of nuclear energy," he said. "China's State Nuclear Security Technology Centre and the IAEA will further strengthen our collaboration, in particular with IAEA's nuclear security centre in Seibersdorf." The centre is part of the International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC Network), which is coordinated by the IAEA and plays a key role in international cooperation and the sharing of best practices in nuclear security.
At the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), the main research institute of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Grossi met with researchers and discussed the role of nuclear technology to address current challenges. "CIAE showcases impressive developments of nuclear technology in China, including the advanced research reactor and proton cyclotron," he noted.
Grossi is also due to meet with representatives of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the China International Development Cooperation Agency. He will visit Tsinghua University, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and the Shidaowan nuclear power plant, among other nuclear facilities and institutions.