The Regulation and Technology of Chinese Nuclear Material Accounting
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Nuclear security practices have been a part of the development of China’s nuclear industry from the beginning, and they remain an important part of nuclear operations. The Chinese government pays close attention to nuclear security and has set up laws and regulations to govern the use of nuclear materials. The companies and operators that use nuclear materials have developed operational manuals and regulations to ensure the protection and control of nuclear materials based on national laws and regulations. These measures explain why there are no reported losses of nuclear materials from Chinese facilities. In light of recent reforms and the “opening” of China, which has increased communication with foreigners and has led to other changes in the international environment, threats to nuclear material security are changing and posing new challenges to Chinese nuclear management. The Chinese government is working to improve regulations to confront these new threats. Nuclear material accounting is one of the most important parts of nuclear material security. China has set up a nuclear material accounting system to account for nuclear materials, to track material inventories, to report inventory changes, and to help detect unexpected increases or decreases in inventories. This paper analyzes Chinese nuclear material accounting systems and the regulations that guide their implementation, from a technical viewpoint.