Framatome, a subsidiary of the French energy company EDF, describes the current situation of the nuclear power plant in Taishan in southern China as an 'immediate radioactive threat.'
According to American media CNN, a leak has been detected at the nuclear power plant, located about 100 km from Hong Kong, and has been under investigation by American authorities for about a week.
The affected plant is the first of the EPR pressurised water reactors that were commissioned in 2018. EDF built the two reactors and holds a 30 per cent stake in the plant.
The Taishan nuclear power plant
The incident offers enough reason for concern that a similar accident could occur in Taishan as once happened in Chernobyl or Fukushima. But so far everything seems to be fine.
In a report on Monday, 14 June, Framatome reports 'irregularities in operation' and assures that they are working 'within the limits of safety parameters,' without giving any further information.
EDF, for its part, reported on Monday an 'increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the primary circuit of reactor one of the Taishan nuclear power plant.' However, the occurrence of certain rare gases in the primary circuit is a known phenomenon 'studied and provided for in the reactor's operating procedure.'
Increased radioactive emissions
In the warning sent to the American energy agency at the beginning of June, the French company accuses the Chinese safety authority of having increased the permitted level of radioactive contamination outside the power plant so as not to 'have to close it down.'
The French Ministry of Economy is up to date on the situation on the ground, as is the French nuclear safety authority, which confirms the information.
Since the beginning of the month, the American authorities have been holding regular emergency meetings on the situation. But as CNN explains, the US does not believe that a new nuclear disaster is imminent and that there is no 'particular risk' to employees or the local population as yet.