A nuclear power plant in southeastern China could turn into an “imminent radiological threat,” the part owner of the facility, a French company, has told the United States, CNN reported on Monday, citing U.S. officials and a letter of the French firm it had obtained.
The U.S. has been assessing the report of the fission gas leak over the past week, CNN reports, quoting the warning from the French firm that China’s authorities had raised the limits of acceptable radiation levels at and around the plant to avoid a shutdown.
The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in the Chinese province of Guangdong is being operated by a joint venture in which French energy giant EDF and its subsidiary Framatome hold 30 percent. The EDF Group and its subsidiary Framatome supplied the EPR pressurized reactor technology for the plant.
According to officials in the U.S. Administration who spoke to CNN, the situation with the Chinese nuclear power plant has not reached a “crisis level.”
The French company has reached out to the United States to obtain a waiver that would allow them to share U.S. technical assistance to resolve the issue at the plant.
China has yet to acknowledge that there is a problem, CNN reports.
The U.S. administration has been in contact with the French government to discuss the situation, sources told CNN. Contact has been made with China, too, although it is not clear to what extent.
Following the report from CNN, the French company Framatome issued a statement on Monday related to Taishan’s reactor number 1, saying that it “is supporting resolution of a performance issue with the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant.”
“According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters,” the company said.
“Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue,” Framatome added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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