Disasters & Accidents

Chinese operator denies atomic plant leak, says indicators are ‘normal’

Shanghai, China, June 15 (EFE).- The Chinese nuclear power plant operator in the south of the country has refuted claims of an alleged fission gas leak, saying all indicators in and around the atomic facility were “normal.”

In a statement sent to the state-run Global Times, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) said the operational indicators of the two reactors were in line with nuclear safety regulations and the technical requirements of atomic power plants.

The statement sent on Monday night came in response to a CNN report about an alleged leak at the Taishan plant, run jointly by the state-owned CGN and Électricité de France (EDF).

EDF subsidiary Framatome, which supplies nuclear systems, purportedly sent a letter to the United States Department of Energy warning of an “imminent radiological threat” at the plant.

It also warned that the Chinese authorities were raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant in Guangdong province to avoid its closure.

EDF, in a statement issued Monday night, said it had information about a buildup of inert gases that had affected the primary circuit of reactor No.1

It said it was a “known phenomenon, studied and provided for in the reactor operating procedures.”

The French utility said it was in contact with the plant operator.

It would convene a meeting of the board of directors for data evaluation and “necessary decisions.”

In a statement Monday, Framatome said that “the plant is currently operating within the safety parameters” based on the data available.

The EDF subsidiary noted that it was “supporting resolution of a performance issue” at the plant.

According to the CGN statement, the Taishan Nuclear Power plant consists 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.

City Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that her government was “highly concerned” about the situation at the power plant in mainland China.

Lam said the observatory and the water supplies departments were constantly checking local radiation levels, public broadcaster RTHK reported.

“Everything is normal and in line with the relevant standards,” she said, adding that officials would contact the relevant mainland authorities and keep the public informed of any new developments. EFE


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