A French nuclear company said on Monday it was working to resolve a “performance problem” at a power plant it co-owns in southern China’s Guangdong province, following a report in the media. US media of a potential leak there.
CNN earlier reported that the US government was evaluating a report of a leak at the Taishan nuclear power plant after French company Framatome warned of an “imminent radiological threat.”
Framatome said in a statement to AFP that he “supports the resolution of a performance problem” at the plant.
“Based on available data, the plant is operating within safe settings,” the company said.
“Our team works with knowledgeable experts to assess the situation and come up with solutions to resolve any potential issues. “
Citing a letter from Framatome to the US Department of Energy, CNN said the warning included a charge that the Chinese security authority was increasing the acceptable limits for radiation outside the facility in order to avoid d ‘have to close it.
The plant operator, state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group, said in a statement Sunday evening that “the environmental indicators of the Taishan nuclear power plant and its surroundings are normal.”
He made no reference to any leaks or incidents at the power plant, which he said meets “the requirements of nuclear safety regulations and the plant’s technical specifications.”
AFP did not get immediate responses to requests for comment from Chinese Foreign Ministry or Chinese nuclear power group
– EPR reactors –
Power up in 2018, the Taishan plant was the first in the world to operate a next-generation EPR nuclear reactor, a pressurized water design that has suffered years of delay in similar European projects in Britain, in France and Finland.
EPR reactors have been touted as promising advancements in safety and efficiency over conventional reactors while producing less waste.
Nuclear power plants provided less than 5% of China’s annual electricity needs in 2019, according to the National Energy Administration, but that share is expected to increase as Beijing attempts to become carbon neutral by 2060.
China has 47 nuclear power plants with a total production capacity of 48.75 million kilowatts – the third in the world after the United States and France – and has invested billions of dollars to develop its nuclear power sector .
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping praised the close ties between their countries as they launched work on Russian-built nuclear power plants in China.
© 2021 AFP