French nuclear firm trying to fix ‘performance issue’ at China plant

2021-06-14 05:10:00

The Guardian – Vincent Ni China affairs correspondent

EDF subsidiary reportedly warned of ‘imminent radiological threat’ at Taishan nuclear power plant

A French nuclear company has said it is working to resolve a “performance issue” at a plant it part-owns in China’s southern Guangdong province after an earlier report of a potential leak there.

Framatome, a subsidiary of the energy giant EDF, told Agence France-Presse news agency that it was “supporting resolution of a performance issue” at the plant. “According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters,” it said, adding that an extraordinary meeting of the power plant’s board had been called “to present all the data and the necessary decisions”.

The statement came shortly after the US TV network CNN reported that Framatome had previously warned the US energy department of an “imminent radiological threat” in a letter.

According to CNN, the letter included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was “raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan nuclear power plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down”.

China’s state-run China General Nuclear Power Group said on Sunday that operations at its nuclear power station in south China met safety rules and the surrounding environment was safe. A US official told CNN “the Biden administration believes the facility is not yet at ‘crisis level’”.

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