China claims that no radiation has escaped the Taishan nuclear power plant: ‘There is no leak.’
Following a CNN story that the facility’s French joint operator had warned of a “imminent radioactive hazard,” China’s Environment Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that “there is no leak” at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in southern China.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment also refuted claims that its nuclear safety body, the National Nuclear Safety Administration, had raised allowable radiation standards outside the facility. CNN’s reportage includes “erroneous conceptions” about nuclear safety, according to a statement on its public WeChat account.
During the operation of reactor Unit 1, excessive levels of specific activity—radioactivity per unit volume or weight—were identified in the primary circuit coolant, according to the ministry’s point-by-point reply. The amount was within the plant’s operational needs’ allowed range.
The ministry stated, “The safe running of the nuclear power facility is guaranteed.”
Damage to fuel rod housings caused a rise in radioactivity in the primary circuit, which was a “uncontrollable factor in the manufacturing, transportation, and loading of fuel,” according to the statement. It stated that a small amount of fuel rod damage is unavoidable, adding that the occurrence is common and has not harmed nuclear plant operations elsewhere in the world.
The clarification backs up a statement from Électricité de France (EDF), the plant’s minority owner, who told Agence France-Presse on Monday that the buildup of noble gases was a “well-known occurrence” that had been investigated and factored into reactor operating procedures.
The internal reactor leak, later identified as the inert gases krypton and xenon, was also attributed to “degradation of the casing of the fuel rods” by EDF. According to the utility provider, it is investigating related reports.
An increase in radioactivity inside the primary circuit, according to China’s Environment Ministry, is “totally different” from an accidental radiation spill. There will be no radioactive leakage into the environment as long as the cooling circuit’s pressure barrier and the reactor’s containment seal match the appropriate conditions, according to the report.
According to the statement, environmental indicators around the Taishan nuclear station reveal “no irregularities.” “This proves there isn’t any leak at all.”
In CNN’s article, which it deemed “not accurate,” the ministry appeared to suggest a misreading of China’s nuclear safety measures.
The nuclear agency of the country. This is a condensed version of the information.