China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA)

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Last Updated: October 1, 2011
Other Name: 国家原子能机构; National Atomic Energy Authority (NAEA); State Atomic Energy Agency; China Nuclear Energy Authority (CNEA); China Atomic Energy Commission (CAEC); China National Atomic Energy Authority (CNAEA)
Location: Beijing, China
Subordinate To: State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND)
Size: A large organization with thousands employees
Facility Status: Operational

The China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) is the premier nuclear security organization in China, and its responsibilities range from preparing Chinese nuclear policies to representing the state’s official views to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations. In terms of bureaucratic hierarchy, the CAEA reports to the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND). [1]

One of CAEA's major responsibilities is the monitoring of nuclear export controls concerning dual-use nuclear equipment and technologies. At the 2009 General Conference of the IAEA, CAEA Secretary-General Wang Yiren stated that China had established "a relatively complete nuclear safety legal and regulatory system." [2]

CAEA heads the research and development of new indigenous civil nuclear technologies and also organizes the State Committee of Nuclear Accident Coordination, which is responsible for “deliberating, drawing up and implementing [a] national plan for nuclear accident emergency.” [3] The development of China’s nuclear power workforce, including reactor regulating staff, is also overseen by the CAEA. [4] Other responsibilities include: formulating nuclear industry development programs, guidelines, policies, laws and regulations; managing nuclear power construction and nuclear fuel and isotope production; and promoting the development and research of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. [5]

[1] “China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA),” U.S.-China Business Council, 5 June 2009,
[2] “China Committed to Peaceful Nuclear Policy,” Xinhua News Agency, 15 September 2009.
[3] “Introduction of Mission: Main Functions,” China Atomic Energy Authority,
[4] “Nuclear Power in China,” World Nuclear Association, 22 September 2011,
[5] Tang Zongyu, "Guide to Chinese Nuclear Organizations,” Nuclear Europe Worldscan, November/December 1999, p. 56.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.