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Duck and Cover: Guangdong to Host Nuclear Disaster Drill Next Year

Posted: 05/15/2014 9:57 am

A national-level safety drill simulating a nuclear disaster will be conducted in Guangdong Province next year, reports People’s Daily.

Code-named “Heavenly Shield”, the drill is the first to be held on a national scale since 2009.

Details such as location and scheduling were not made available. Huang Min, a nuclear safety coordinator with the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said the drill would simulate an incident during the refueling process whereby depleted uranium fuel rods are replaced with new ones.

According to a preliminary plan, Guangdong Province was chosen to be the site of next year’s drill because of its long history in civilian nuclear power use.

Guangdong has three nuclear power plants in operation at Daya Bay, Lingao and Yangjiang. Combining those in operation and under construction, the province has more nuclear reactors than anywhere else in China.

The Daya Bay nuclear plant is the oldest nuclear power plant currently operating in China.

China conducted its last national nuclear safety drill in Lianyungang, Jiangsu in 2009. The drill simulated a reactor leak and tested the ability of military and government agencies to contain the leak while local residents rehearsed evacuation procedures.

Photo: Wordtotheys


Could the secrets of the universe be unlocked in the PRD?

Posted: 01/17/2014 7:00 am

What caused the big bang? What happened to the material generated by it? These questions could be answered by work done in an underground laboratory to be built in Kaiping City.

A news conference was held in Jiangmen on Wednesday to announce that a neutrino observatory will be built 700 metres underground with an investment of 100 million yuan to help physicists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences study some of the biggest astronomical mysteries facing mankind, Guangzhou Daily reports. Wang Yifang of the academy’s Institute of High Energy Physics will be in charge of the project.

The observatory in Kaiping will be China’s largest underground laboratory and China’s second neutrino observatory. The other is one in nearby Daya Bay which gained international recognition in 2012 for “discovering a new neutrino oscillation model” and “opening a major door in the development of neutrino physics.”

The observatory in Daya Bay, via Google Images

Neutrinos are tiny and prolific subatomic particles that are born in nuclear reactions, including those that occur inside stars. According to the Nobel Prize website, 2001 to 2003 were the golden years of solar neutrino research. But research into neutrinos is still very much at the forefront of particle physics. An unprecedented neutrino discovery in the South Pole two months ago was described as a “Nobel Prize in the making.”

The location of the new observatory, underneath Jinji Town and Chishui Town took over a year to select. The laboratory will be completed in 2019 and the project will last at least 20 years. According to Wang Yifang, research done in the laboratory really could answer questions like “what happened to the material generated by the big bang?”

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