After Raising Alarm Over Chinese Nuclear Reactor Leaking Fission Gas, French Company Says Taishan Plant Is Now ‘Operating Safely’

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 15, 2021 12:53 PM +05:30 IST
After Raising Alarm Over Chinese Nuclear Reactor Leaking Fission Gas, French Company Says Taishan Plant Is Now ‘Operating Safely’(file photo)
Snapshot
  • CNN reported last week that Framatome had sought the help of US Department of Energy for help to fix a gas leak at the Taishan nuclear power plant.

    Taishan Nuclear Power plant currently consists of two 1,750-megawatt Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs). The nuclear plant was jointly invested, constructed and operated by CGN and French energy conglomerate Électricité de France (EDF)

Framatom, the French company responsible for maintaining a nuclear power plant in South China's Guangdong Province, said the facility was operating safely, amid reports of a “radiological threat” at the plant.

CNN reported last week that Framatome had sought the help of US Department of Energy for help to fix a gas leak at the plant.

CNN report also claimed that Framatome had warned of an “imminent radiological threat” amid concerns that the local safety authorities were raising the limits of acceptable radiation levels outside the plant to avoid shutting it down.

CNN has based the report on a letter submitted by the company seeking operational safety assistance request to the US agency on June 3. The company warned that the nuclear reactor is leaking fission gas.

A French nuclear firm said on Monday (Jun 14) it was working to resolve a "performance issue" at a plant it part-owns in China's southern Guangdong province following a US media report of a potential leak there.

"According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters," the company said.

"Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue." the statement added.

China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the operator of the plant, said in a statement that all indicators of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Taishan and its surrounding environment are normal

Global Times quoted Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, as saying that China's third generation nuclear reactors, represented by the Taishan nuclear power plant and the Hualong One technology, have higher safety standards compared with second generation reactors like most currently in use in Europe and the US.

Taishan Nuclear Power plant currently consists of two 1,750-megawatt Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs). The nuclear plant was jointly invested, constructed and operated by CGN and French energy conglomerate Électricité de France (EDF)

Framatome, a subsidiary of EDF, owns 30 per cent of the Taishan plant. The rest is held by state-owned Guangdong General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).

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

China has 47 nuclear plants with a total generation capacity of 48.75 million kilowatts -- the world's third highest after the United States and France -- and has invested billions of dollars to develop its nuclear energy sector.

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