On Tuesday, Hong Kong’s leader said that her government is closely speculating a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a report that it might be leaking.
The operators of the plant have released few details but the nuclear experts have stated based on their brief public statement that the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from the fuel rods inside a reactor.
Chief Executive, Carrie Lam said that the government data have revealed that the radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night. Data on Tuesday from the Hong Kong Observatory showed that the radiation was still normal.
On Monday, a French company that helps to manage the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province said that it was dealing with a performance issue and said that the facility was operating within the safe limits.
This was followed by a CNN report that Framatome told the U.S. authorities that the power plant which is 135 km west of Hong Kong might be leaking.
Lam said that with regards to the foreign media reports about a nuclear plant in Taishan, Guangzhou, the Hong Kong government has attached a high degree of importance to the matter.
Lam also said that her government would ask the authorities in Guangdong for information and shall then inform the public about any further developments.
The Taishan plant which started its commercial operation back in December 2018 is being owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and Electricite de France, who is the majority owner of Framatome. The second reactor started operating in September 2019.
They are reportedly the first of a new type known as the European Pressurized Reactors and two more are being built in France and Finland.
CC has reported that Framatome has written to the U.S. Department of Energy warning of an imminent radiological threat and has accused the Chinese authorities of raising such acceptable limits of radiation outside the plant to avoid having it shut down.
Lam who is also the chairman of the Hong Kong Nuclear Society has said that if the leakage is more severe then they shall start seeing more radioactive material like cesium rather than gas. And, added that such leaks happen frequently in China and the plants can usually handle it themselves.
China’s major state-owned nuclear power companies are on Washington’s entity list that is closed from obtaining U.S. technology without the approval of the government.
Lam said that in the current situation, that becomes tough as for even a small problem they need to seek the approval of the U.S. government.
Lam who has also worked with the Chinese nuclear power plant operators said that she has asked the company for more information about the leak but the managers won’t talk about it. And, added that she suspects that the leakage is far more widespread than just a single assembly. And, because of that, they would require some special technology to resolve the leakage problem.