China says radiation levels normal at Taishan nuclear plant; US assessing reported leak

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Beijing [China], June 15 (ANI): China has said radiation levels remained normal at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province and there were no safety concerns, after the station's French operator and part-owner reported a gas build-up.

"There is no abnormality in the radiation levels around the nuclear power plant, and safety is guaranteed," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

The US government, however, is assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that helps operate it warned of an "imminent radiological threat."

A document obtained by CNN reveals that the warning included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the US news network, the limits were raised to avoid having the plant shut down. Despite the alarming notification from Framatome, the French company, the US government believes the facility is not yet at a "crisis level," one of the sources said.

Earlier, the French company that partly owns and operates the power plant had said, "EDF has been informed of the increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the primary circuit of reactor n°1 [number one] of the Taishan nuclear power plant."

"The presence of certain noble gases in the primary circuit is a known phenomenon, studied and provided for in the reactor operating procedures," the company said in a statement.

It is however unclear exactly where the build-up of gases has happened, leaving experts scratching their heads as to how severe the problem may be.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, the International Atomic Energy Agency is in contact with officials in China about the issue.

The Taishan plant went online in 2018 and was the first third-generation "evolutionary power reactor" to become operational. (ANI)

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