To achieve a fundamental transformation from big to strong in China’s nuclear industry

发表于:2011-11-19 | 来源:| 访问数:5205

By Sun Qin

Oct 16,2011 9:00 QiuShi Journal

The PRC has gone through 62 years. For over half a century, the nuclear industry, as a national strategic high-tech industry, has entered an important period of strategic opportunities for speeding up development by several generations of hard work. At present, in order to achieve a historical change from big to strong in our nuclear industry on the basis of safety assurance, the fundamental way is to follow the guidance of scientific development concept, effectively accelerate the transformation of development mode, and concentrate our efforts on improving core competence.

1. Our nuclear industry has developed its own sustainable development capability and strategic advantages.

For the past 56 years, under the leadership and guidance of several generations of CPC leaders, our nuclear workers have borne in mind the mission of “Developing Nuclear Power to Build a Prosperous Country”, persisted in the principle of civil-military integration, independent innovation, deepening the reform and scientific development, developed its own sustainable development capability and strategic advantages, and made a great contribution to our nation’s safety as well as economic and social development.

China has developed its own complete industrial system of nuclear science and technology. In the 1960s and 1970s, our country has successfully developed the atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb and nuclear submarines, initially established a relatively complete industrial system of nuclear science and technology, successfully broken the monopoly and blackmail of some nuclear-armed nations, and made a historical contribution to improve our country’s international status. Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the CPC, in response to our national strategic adjustment, our nuclear industry has turned from military focus to civil-military integration. We have successively mastered the neutron bomb and nuclear weapon miniaturization technology. Our nuclear power industry has made a breakthrough from null to batch construction and realized a significant change from a unitary military industry to a new industry system of nuclear science and technology with the characteristic of civil-military integration. In order to adapt to the development of market economy, China National Nuclear Industry Corporation (CNNIC) was established in 1988 on the basis of Ministry of Nuclear Industry. In 1999, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) was founded and successfully made a fundamental change to enterprise operation. In recent years, CNNC has gone through the industrial restructuring and management innovation. By doing so, our team has become smaller but more capable, our main business has become more prominent, and our profit has been increasing year by year. Moreover, the coordinated development among nuclear military industrial project, nuclear power, nuclear fuel recycling and nuclear technology has made our industrial system of nuclear science and technology more complete. This kind of new industrial system of nuclear science and technology, which has the characteristics of civil-military integration, upstream and downstream integration, and scientific research and production integration, is an important manifestation of our country’s strategic nuclear forces as well as an important basis for the sustainable development of our nuclear industry. Only a few countries in the world have this kind of capabilities.

China has developed a relatively complete innovation system of nuclear science and technology. For the past 56 years, our nuclear industry has adhered to the road of independent innovation, established comprehensive nuclear scientific research bases and specialized research institutes, developed an innovation system of nuclear science and technology complete in range and disciplines, and made great achievements in the basic research of nuclear science and technology, advanced nuclear energy technology development, nuclear applied technology research, etc.. We have completed the construction of three nuclear bases: Qinshan nuclear base in Zhejiang province, Daya Bay nuclear base in Guangdong province and Tianwan nuclear base in Jiangsu province. We have put 14 nuclear reactors into operation with a total installed capacity reaching 11890MW. We have mastered the technology of the advanced second generation million-kilowatt nuclear reactor with our own intellectual property rights and established a basic foundation for our expansion in the international nuclear power market. We have successfully developed and industrialized special equipment for nuclear fuel key sectors and made a significant leap in uranium enrichment technology. We have successfully completed the hot commissioning of power reactor spent nuclear fuel reprocessing pilot-scale project and realized a major breakthrough in our spent nuclear fuel reprocessing technology. This year, the first fast neutron reactor independently developed by our country, China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR), has successfully connected to the grid, which signifies a major breakthrough in the technology of our fourth generation advanced nuclear energy system and marks an important step forward in seizing the commanding height of nuclear energy technology and establishing a sustainable development of advanced nuclear energy system. We have established a system of high quality talents team. For over half a century, a large number of high quality talents has grown up and a batch of independent innovation models have emerged in our nuclear industry, for example, Qian Sanqiang, Wang Ganchang, Deng Jiaxian and other heroes of two bombs. We have also reaped with a large number of scientists and engineering technical experts with sound quality, innovative spirit and great achievements. They are a valuable asset for the reform and development of our nuclear industry. In the arduous and tortuous pioneering history of our nuclear industry, they have developed a spirit in our nuclear industry, that is, “Cause is above all the other things; responsibilities outweighs all the other things; strictness and carefulness is integrated in everything; striving realizes everything.” This spirit has become a strong motivation for the followers to devote their life to our nuclear industry. After entering the new century, faced with the stark challenges of competition for talents, CNNC has proposed the objective of “Implement the strategy of invigorating our nuclear industry though talents and reshape a team of top talents.” We have attached the same importance to the team of operation and management personnel, the team of technical professionals and the team of skilled workers, and actively improved the talents classification and categorization management system, examination and evaluation system, salary system, development and training system, resource allocation system, and security system. These measures taken in the talents cultivation, selection, motivation and other system provide a strong guarantee and support for the sustainable development of our nuclear industry.

2. Our nuclear industry is facing an unprecedented development opportunities and challenges.

After entering the new century, the Central Committee of CPC, the State Council of PRC and the Central Military Commission of PRC have paid great emphasis on the development of our nuclear industry. General Secretary Hu Jintao requires us to redouble our efforts with a pioneering and innovative spirit and strive to achieve the grand objective of sound, fast and safe development of our nuclear industry. The Fifth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee has set the guideline of highly efficient development of nuclear power on the basis of safety assurance.

In March, a level 7 nuclear accident occurred at Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, which is one of the severest accidents in the history of nuclear power since the Three Mile Island accident in American and Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Soviet Union. The Fukushima nuclear accident has raised doubt and concern about the issue of nuclear safety around the globe once again. This accident belongs to beyond design basis accidents caused by the irresistible natural disasters. It has changed the traditional view on nuclear accident risks and accident overlaps in the past. The nuclear safety standards and requirements are faced with a comprehensive enhancement once again and the world nuclear industry will undergo a comprehensive optimization and improvement from technology to management.

There is no small thing in the nuclear industry and safety is the lifeline of nuclear industry. After the Fukushima nuclear accident, the CPC top leaders are very concerned about the situation and have delivered important instructions on the issue respectively. The State Council has held an executive meeting in a timely manner and decisively taken the following measures: first, immediately organize relevant departments to carry out a comprehensive safety check in our existing nuclear facilities; second, effectively strengthen the safety management in our operating nuclear facilities; third, make a comprehensive review of the nuclear power plants under construction. The most advanced standards should be used to conduct safety assessment and rectification of all the nuclear power plants under construction; fourth, strictly assess and approve the new nuclear projects. Before the Nuclear Safety Plan is approved, the approval of all the new nuclear power plants should be suspended. CNNC has thoroughly implemented the decisions of the Central Committee of CPC, earnestly carried out the safety self-inspection of our nuclear facilities such as nuclear power plants, nuclear military industrial projects, etc., actively cooperated with the National Nuclear Safety Inspection Team to carry out a comprehensive safety check and is carrying out works on subsequent rectifications and lesson feedbacks. Facts show that the decisions made by the CPC and government in response to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident are timely, decisive and correct, which is not only a necessary response to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident but also a long-term consideration for the sustainable development of our nuclear power industry.

The Fukushima nuclear accident has a far-reaching impact on the global nuclear industry. However, generally speaking, our nuclear industry is still in an important period of strategic opportunities for development. At present, under the actual demand and pressure of energy supply, energy restructuring, climate change and environment protection, to speed up the development of new energy, nuclear power is still a rational and realistic option. As a large-scale, low-cost alternative to traditional fossil fuel, nuclear power is technically mature and its advantages still remain. After years of development and utilization, our nuclear power industry has undergone continuous technological innovation. Our design, construction, operation and management capabilities have been improved steadily. Now our nuclear industry has already had the ability of sustainable development. As the center of our national strategic nuclear force and the main force of our national nuclear power development, CNNC will face more difficult tasks in the process of strengthening our national defense force, advancing our national economic development, accelerating the transformation of our economic mode, and building an innovation-oriented country. At the same time, CNNC shall also shoulder more social responsibilities.

After the Fukushima nuclear accident, the development of a safer and more advanced technology aimed at a higher standard is not only the direction for the nuclear power industry but also the direction for the whole nuclear industry. The higher standard will result in technology update and upgrade, equipment renovation and upgrade, strict quality control and enhanced project management, which will inevitably push up the development costs of nuclear industry. At the same time, nuclear accidents know no borders. The internationalization trend in the nuclear safety area will be enhanced and the competition in the international nuclear power market centered on standards and technology will be fiercer. In future, in order to improve the competitive advantages in our nuclear industry and achieve the fundamental transformation from a nuclear big nation to a nuclear strong nation, we are faced with not only unprecedented opportunities but also fiercer challenges.

3. The aspects to improve our core competence during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.

During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, we should be good at seizing opportunities in changeable situations and identifying and taking advantage of opportunities among serious challenges. We shall make the most of the adjustment period in the global nuclear power industry, take great pains to solve the deep-rooted conflicts and prominent problems which have constrained the scientific development of our nuclear industry, accelerate the adjustment of our industrial structure and the transformation of development mode, and effectively improve the core competence of our nuclear industry.

Improve our system and mechanism and exert ourselves in accelerating the adjustment of our industrial structure. At present, in order to accelerate the structural adjustment, we shall highlight the development of our main business in nuclear power and nuclear fuel, get rid of inefficient production capacity, and enhance the vitality of development. We shall stick to the development principle of “Openness, Inclusive, Cooperation and Win-win”, continuously innovate the domestic and international cooperation mode, depend on asset management and capital operation, and promote the enhancement and optimization of our main business. We shall vigorously advance the innovation of our management mode, actively carry out process reengineering, establish an efficient management system with well-defined rights and responsibilities in accordance with the direction and requirements of modern enterprise system, and promote the efficient allocation and utilization of human resources, assets and materials. We shall improve our market-oriented and competition-oriented operation and development capabilities as the key to the transformation of our development mode, advance lean management, strategic management, quality management and comprehensive risk management, and continuously improve our sustainable development capability.

Promote innovation in science and technology and concentrate our efforts on capacity building. CNNC has a complete industrial system of nuclear science and technology and a solid basis for innovation in nuclear science and technology. At present, the key to improve our core competence is to integrate the advantages of industrial system and innovation basis. During the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan, we shall focus on the key fields such as nuclear military industrial projects, etc., build and improve our technology platform closely integrated with the scientific research and industry, and achieve the objective that every important production stage is supported by a science and technology platform. We shall implement special science and technology projects, increase the investment in scientific research, and advance our science and technology innovation to a new level using special projects as a breakthrough point and main carrier. We shall energetically cultivate a batch of innovative products and brands with our own intellectual property rights in order to seize the preemptive opportunities and take the initiative in the medium and long-term development of nuclear industry. We shall strengthen our system construction, innovate our scientific research mechanism, implement the system of commander in chief and chief designer in important science and technology special projects, adhere to the system of employing chief expert, academic leader and chief mechanic, enhance the incentive measures for scientists and engineers, and broaden professional development paths for various talents.

Adhere to the people-oriented principle and concentrate our efforts on invigorating the enterprise through talents. Talents have become the most important strategic asset for the development of nuclear industry. At present, there is a great need for talents in the development of nuclear industry and ever a greater need for commanding talents, especially for those leading interdisciplinary talents. We shall firmly set the development principle of “Talents First”, emphasize on the construction of high-level talents team, develop new advantages to attract talents by way of environment innovation, build new platform for training talents through mechanism innovation, make the hierarchy and structure of talents team more efficient and adaptable to industrial development, and form a talents aggregating place in nuclear industry influential both in home and abroad. We shall achieve the objective of diversification of talents cultivation, rationalization of talents allocation, systemization of talents system, and scientification of talents management, and thus provide a solid talents guarantee for the improvement of our core competence in nuclear industry.

Build a nuclear safety culture and concentrate our efforts on comprehensively raising nuclear safety level. During the period of 12th Five-Year Plan, we shall depend upon our independent technical force, further improve the technical support system of nuclear safety and raise the intrinsic safety degree. We shall improve our management system and quality assurance system in accordance with the most advanced standards and ensure nuclear safety through system design. We shall adhere to the integration of personnel protection and technical protection, implement delicacy management in management system, safety technology, safety training, etc., and continuously improve nuclear safety supervision emergency response system. We shall firmly develop a consciousness of “There is No Small Thing in Nuclear Industry”, vigorously advance nuclear safety culture construction, make nuclear safety culture deeply instilled in people’s heart, and make it become a conscious act thoroughly followed by all the cadres and workers. In the long-term practice process, we have maintained a good record of nuclear safety and won the full confidence of the whole society in nuclear safety. In the new journey, we will ensure no risk at all in nuclear safety with a highly responsible attitude to our country and people and truly satisfy our party, nation and people.

(The article is written by Sun Qin, the party secretary and general manager of CNNC. )