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Creators of China’s Atom Bomb Reminisce 60 Years Later

Posted: 10/16/2014 3:29 pm

china atom bomb creatorsChina was ushered into the modern age with its first successful test of an atom bomb on October 16, 1964, joining a small, select group of countries as a nuclear power.

This achievement was made possible by a number of scientists and workers who were recently recognized for their contributions. They may be in their twilight years, but the forefathers of China’s atom bomb continue to look back with pride at their work, even if it has caused permanent damage to their health.

Atom bomb worker Ren Tie was exposed to radiation after several nuclear tests, but is proud of his service to China even though his teeth fell out when he was 50 years-old.

With 500 atom bomb developers now living in Hefei, these people did not understand the implications of what they were working on at the time. Wang Suide, who is now 76 years-old, explained the workrooms were all separated and workers were assigned different tasks, unrelated to each other:

You may not believe what I’m about to say, but it wasn’t until 1964 when I saw the first successful test of the atom bomb take place on television that I finally realized the importance of what I was doing.

The atomic bombs were developed at a secret location at State Factory No. 211 near Jinying Beach, Qinghai. Dong Yiju said the place, known as “Atom City”, was a desolate grass plain with harsh weather. He said he was forced to grow his own crops because food was so scarce:

When I first arrived, this place was just grass and scrub. There was more grass than people. There was so much sand blowing in the wind that it was difficult to keep your eyes open.

Now that their work is complete, and China has become a global power, all that is left is nostalgia from those early days:

I want to go back and see Jinyin Beach in Qinghai. It’s a captivating area.

Photo: China Daily


Accident at Guangdong Nuclear Power Plant Blamed On Mistake

Posted: 06/24/2014 1:54 pm

nuclear power plant The negligent actions of a worker at the Ling’ao nuclear power plant have been described by a nuclear safety committee chairman as “insignificant”.

Raymond Ho Chung-tai, chairman of the Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station and Ling’ao Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee, made the statement at an annual meeting at the station, reports The Standard.

An air radiation monitor failed to operate in one of the Ling’ao reactor buildings on March 27. Ho said a worker was negligent by sealing a radiation monitor in order to keep dust from entering it.

In other recent developments regarding nuclear energy, Chinese premier Li Keqiang announced in London that China will design, own, and operate nuclear power plants for Britainreports the Daily Mail.

However, the announcement was met with concerns over national security. As well, British MPs expressed some reservations about cooperating with China to build the nuclear power stations because of the country’s human rights record, an act they say amounts to “accepting money tainted with blood“.

Ling’ao is one of three nuclear power plants operating in Guangdong Province, with the other two being Daya Bay and Yangjiang. In conjunction with other local power plants currently under construction, Guangdong has more nuclear power plants than anywhere else in China.

Guangdong is set to host a national-level safety drill simulating a nuclear disaster next year, the first held since 2009.



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


Chinese people respond to the devastation in Japan

Posted: 03/16/2011 6:00 am

It seems that the horrific tragedy playing out in northeastern Japan is bringing out the best, and occasionally the worst, in China’s netizens. There’s no doubt that China and Japan have a very long and intertwined history, and emotions between the two Asian neighbours run deep. Reactions on China’s most popular microblog, Sina Weibo, have been mixed. The China Smack blog does an excellent job translating many of the more positive comments inspired by images of Japanese people lining up for food and water and walking home because of no train service. We decided to post a select few here:

In China, I bet [people] would have immediately broken into and looted the surrounding convenience stores/supermarkets.

A tiny pellet of a country, with nothing [few resources], being able to beat the shit and piss out of Russia and China…is not without reasons…

In Japan, the cars yield to the people. In China, the cars can’t wait to run over your body, even if you have the green light and the car is making a turn.

Without bringing up anything else, on the character exhibited when fasting disaster, we really can’t compare.
Even when there is no disaster, for simply sitting in a seat or using the toilet, we’re capable of fighting and arguing over.

We won’t post some of the more negative (read: ignorant) comments posted on Weibo, but you can read them for yourselves here. Of course, ignorance isn’t just a trait found in China. But such is the reaction when disaster befalls a nation that is despised by a great many Chinese people for its historical atrocities.

On a positive note, Premier Wen Jiabao addressed the Japanese earthquake at the close of the National People’s Congress yesterday:

It was only at the very end of his nearly 2.5-hour press conference on Monday that Premier Wen Jiabao turned his attention to Japan. He first asked if there were Japanese journalists among the gathering of hundreds (there were), then said he didn’t want to take a question from them, but had something to say. Wen offered China’s “deep condolences” to Japan.

Wen meets with reporters once every year, at the close of the National People’s Congress. He takes a pre-screened selection of questions from journalists from China and other countries. This year no Japanese reporter was called on. Instead, Wen made a statement.

“China is also a country prone to earthquake disasters and we fully empathize with how they feel now,” Wen said. “We will provide more as Japan needs it and we want to continue to help as necessary.”

Some (such as Slate) are arguing that as one of the world’s richest countries, Japan doesn’t necessarily need cash donations, if you wish to help. Instead, the country will likely need blood, which you can donate at any Red Cross in the PRD (there are many).

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