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French company investigates reports of leaks in Chinese nuclear power plants

A French nuclear company said it is working to solve a “performance problem” related to gas accumulation in a partially owned plant in southern China.

CNN previously reported that the US government was evaluating reports of leaks at the populous Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province, after French company Framatome warned of an “imminent radiation threat.”

EDF, the majority owner of Framatome, said in a statement that it had requested an extraordinary meeting of the power plant’s board “to provide management with all the data and the necessary decisions.”

In a statement to AFP, Framatome said it “supports the resolution of performance issues” at the factory.

“According to the available data, the plant is operating within safety parameters,” the company said.

EDF later mentioned part of the reactor cooling system and stated that there was “an increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the reactor Unit 1 primary circuit” at Oyama.

Noble gases are elements with low chemical reactivity such as argon, helium, and neon.

Their presence in the system is “a known phenomenon and has been studied and provided in reactor operating procedures,” EDF said.

Not “crisis level”

CNN quoted Framatome’s letter to the U.S. Department of Energy, and the warning includes accusations that Chinese safety authorities are raising the limits of radiation outside the facility to avoid closure of the facility. Said.

However, US officials told broadcasters that President Joe Biden’s administration believed the facility was not yet at “crisis level.”

“The environmental indicators of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and its surroundings are normal,” the operator of the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group’s power plant said in a statement on Sunday evening.

French nuclear company Framatome says it is investigating reports of leaks at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China.

He did not mention leaks or accidents at the power plant, but said it met the “requirements for nuclear safety regulations and technical specifications of the power plant.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN agency, said it had contacted its Chinese counterparts on this issue.

“There are no signs of a radiation accident at this stage,” the IAEA said in a statement, adding that it would share more information “when it becomes available.”

AFP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or China’s nuclear group.

EPR reactor

The Taishan Nuclear Power Station, which went into operation in 2018, operated the next-generation EPR reactor for the first time in the world. This is a pressurized water reactor with many years of delays in similar European projects in the United Kingdom, France and Finland.

Currently, the factory in Taishan, near the southern coastline of Guangdong Province, which is the most populous in China, has two EPR power generation units.

EPR reactors are touted as having the potential to be safer and more efficient than traditional reactors while reducing waste.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited the Oyama plant in 2013, where French leaders pitched their nuclear expertise to the huge Chinese market.

According to the National Energy Authority, nuclear power plants supplied less than 5% of China’s annual electricity demand in 2019, but this share is expected to grow as Beijing seeks to become carbon-neutral by 2060. Will be done.

With 47 nuclear power plants in China and a total capacity of 48.75 gigawatts, it is the third largest in the world after the United States and France, and has invested billions of dollars in the development of the nuclear energy sector.

Last month, Xi Jinping Jintao Russian President Vladimir Putin and China, Russia has initiated a study of the nuclear power plant that was built in China.

And in December, state media reported that China had succeeded in turning on the HL-2M Tokamak reactor, the first “artificial solar” fusion reactor. Degree Celsius.

This is China’s largest and most advanced fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope it has the potential to unlock a powerful clean energy source.

French company investigates reports of leaks in Chinese nuclear power plants

Source link French company investigates reports of leaks in Chinese nuclear power plants

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