China Nuclear Power Plant Near Hong Kong Is Dealing with “Performance Issue” After Potential Radioactive Leak Reported

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WGN Radio is reporting this morning:

The French joint operator of a Chinese nuclear plant near Hong Kong said Monday that the plant is dealing with a “performance issue” but is currently operating within safety limits, following a report of a potential radioactive leak.

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant is jointly owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and French multinational electric utility Électricité de France, the main owner of Framotome, which helps operate the plant.

“Framatome is supporting resolution of a performance issue with the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province, China,” Framatome said in a short statement Monday.

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“According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters,” it said. “Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue.”

The response coming out of China is different than what was reportedly shared with the US Department of Energy:

CNN reported Monday that Framotome had written to the U.S. Department of Energy warning of an “imminent radiological threat” and accusing Chinese authorities of raising acceptable limits for radiation outside the plant to avoid having to shut it down. CNN said U.S. officials believed the current situation at the plant did not present a severe safety threat.

Newsweek provided this additional coverage of the story:

The U.S. government reportedly spent the last week assessing allegations of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part-owns and helps operate it warned of an “immediate radiological threat.”

The Chinese plant denied the allegations and said that its generators are functioning normally, evoking memories for some of the lack of transparency around previous nuclear disasters.

A letter from France-based Framatome to the U.S. Department of Energy warned that the Chinese safety authority has been raising the acceptable limits of radiation detected outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, CNN reported on Sunday.

The nuclear plant is in China and about 85 miles from Hong Kong.  This area, known as the Pearl River Delta holds over 50 million people.  The cities of Guangzhou (formerly Canton) and Shenzhen account for the largest populations in this region with the combined total considered the most populous urban region on earth.  Hong Kong adds another 8 million to the region.

Let’s hope this is under control and not underreported.

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