Business & Economy

China says little damage to fuel rods, denies leak at Taishan nuclear plant

Shanghai, China, June 17 (EFE).- There was no radiation leak at a nuclear power plant in China, Chinese environment authorities have said, admitting to minor damage to five fuel rods of the atomic facility in the country’s south.

The fission leak denial by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment came days after CNN reported an alleged leak at the Taishan nuclear plant, run jointly by the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and Électricité de France (EDF).

The ministry, which oversees China’s nuclear safety watchdog, clarified that the damage to five of more than 60,000 fuel rods was within the normal levels in the core of the Unit 1 reactor at the plant in Guangdong province.

The proportion of damage to the cladding of the rods was less than 0.01 percent of the total.

It is below the maximum acceptable level of 0.25 percent during the production, the ministry said.

It said many other nuclear plants had continued to operate after suffering similar incidents.

“The operational safety of the nuclear power plant is guaranteed.”

It said that environmental monitors near the plant had found no abnormal parameters or signs of radioactive leakage in the vicinity.

The ministry also denied CNN’s reported claim that China had increased the environmental radiation limits near the plant to avoid its closure.

According to the authorities, radiation levels in the vicinity of the plant remain “normal” as “there has been no leak.”

The ministry noted that radiation levels in the core of the Unit 1 reactor were being monitored closely and any update given to the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and French nuclear regulators.

CGN said the Taishan Nuclear Power plant consisted of two 1,750-megawatt Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs) jointly invested, constructed, and operated by the Chinese and French groups.

One of the reactors entered into commercial operation in December 2018, while the second began in September 2019.

The plant about 130 km east of Hong Kong. EFE


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