• China plans to construct more nuclear reactors to provide energy for the country.

China plans to construct more nuclear reactors to provide energy for the country. (Photo : Reuters)

The Chinese government is planning to form a national nuclear emergency response task force that will be in charge of handling any serious accidents, as well as take part in overseas operations, reported China Daily.

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According to Xu Dazhe, head of the China Atomic Energy Authority, the task force will be made up of 320 professionals and will work with the existing 25 nuclear emergency teams in order to conduct search and rescue operations in case of a nuclear accident.

The 25 teams have over 1,300 personnel.

China has eight technical support centers and three training bases involved in nuclear emergency response efforts, according to Xu.

Aside from increasing staffing levels, China is also drafting laws that deal with nuclear energy and nuclear security.

Xu made the remarks during a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday that marked the release of a white paper entitled "China's Nuclear Emergency Preparedness." The white paper is considered the first of its kind in the country.

The State Council Information Office hosted the press conference.

China currently has 30 reactors in operation with an installed capacity of 28.3 gigawatts. According to the China Atomic Energy Authority, another 24 are under construction.

China began building its first nuclear power station in 1985.

Currently, around 2 percent of China's electricity generation is provided by nuclear power, according to the China Electricity Council.

Xu said that in 2015, eight reactors became operational and work started on six new reactors.

The government is currently considering constructing offshore nuclear power plants, but only if under completely safe conditions, said Xu. He added that a "careful and scientific" feasibility review will be carried out before a decision can be made.

The government has placed great importance to nuclear safety and emergency response since the country established its nuclear industry in the 1950s.

The State Council set up a national committee to handle any nuclear emergencies in 1991.

In 1997, the government issued a national nuclear emergency plan and has revised it several times since then. The latest revision was made in June 2013.

In 2009 and 2015, national nuclear emergency response drills were organized. Xu said that a third will be staged soon.