EDF, a French state-owned company, said it was seeking a special meeting at its joint venture plant in southern China following a report of an emergency radiation leak.
In a statement on Monday, the EDF said it had been informed of “an increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the first reactor of the Taishan nuclear power plant”, which is largely owned by China General Nuclear Power Corp. Noble gases are inert gases such as helium, xenon and radon.
It added that such increases were “a well-known phenomenon, they have been studied, they are envisaged in the reactor operation procedures”, but noted that it called on the extraordinary council to review all available data.
In a statement posted on its website on Sunday night, the Taishan nuclear power plant said its two reactors were operating normally. «The: [plant’s] “Environmental indicators, its surroundings are normal,” said the plant.
It added that the second reactor of the nuclear power plant had recently completed the planned overhaul and was reconnected to the electricity grid on June 10.
70% of Taishan belongs to CGN and the rest to EDF. It is the first nuclear power plant in the world to operate a European-pressurized reactor, French-German technology, which has been lagging behind due to cost overruns in two decades.
The first reactor of Taishan plant started commercial operation in December 2018, and the second reactor was put into operation in September 2019.
Taishan, with a population of 1 m, is located 75 km west of the Pearl River Delta, the most densely populated part of southern Guangdong Province. Hong Kong is about 140 km from the power plant.
CGN և EDF is also partnering with the UK EPR nuclear power plant at Hinckley Point in Somerset.
On Monday, CNN quoted unnamed sources as saying that EDF Framatome had recently alerted the US government to a possible “imminent radiological threat to the site և public.”
“Framatome is supporting the work of the Taishan nuclear power plant,” Framatome said in a statement on Monday, adding that “according to available data, the plant operates within safety parameters.”
According to officials, the French government is reversing the situation.
CNN reports that President Biden’s National Security Council is monitoring the situation but does not yet believe that a “crisis level” has been reached.
CGN declined to comment. Taishan City Government և China National Nuclear Security Administration’s immediate comment on Monday, China State Day.
Nuclear energy is crucial to President Xi Jinping’s ambitious cause environmental goals, which include zero net emissions of carbon dioxide by 2060.
China has about 50 nuclear reactors, accounting for about 5 percent of total electricity generation.
Additional report by Qianer Liu in Shenzhen