Hong Kong 'Highly Concerned' After Reports of China Radiation Leak

Carrie Lam says currently radiation levels are normal in the city
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 15, 2021 12:59 AM CDT
Hong Kong 'Highly Concerned' After Reports of China Radiation Leak
In this 2013 photo, then British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, left, chats with Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co. Ltd. General Manager Guo Liming as he inspects a nuclear reactor under construction at the nuclear power plant in Taishan, Guangdong province, China.   (AP Photo/Bobby Yip, Pool, File)

Hong Kong's leader said Tuesday that her government is “highly concerned” about the situation at a nearby nuclear power plant in mainland China, following media reports that the plant could be experiencing a leak. Still, data from the Hong Kong Observatory and other departments showed that as of Monday night the radiation levels in the city were normal, leader Carrie Lam said at a regularly scheduled news conference. Data from the observatory showed that was still the case on Tuesday, the AP reports. Lam's comments came a day after the French joint operator of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province said it was dealing with a “performance issue” at the plant, but that it was operating within safety parameters. The company statement followed media reports that the plant could be experiencing a leak.

The plant is about 85 miles from Hong Kong, meaning a potential leak could impact the financial hub. Lam said the city has systems in place to monitor radiation levels and the government will inform the public of any developments. Lam also said that her government will reach out to authorities in Guangdong about the situation. The Taishan plant is jointly owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and French multinational electric utility Électricité de France, the main owner of Framatome, which helps operate the plant. CNN reported Monday that Framatome had written to the US Department of Energy warning of an “imminent radiological threat” and accusing Chinese authorities of raising acceptable limits for radiation outside the plant to avoid having to shut it down. Électricité de France said in a statement Monday that it had been informed of the increase in concentration of “certain rare gases” in the primary circuit of reactor No. 1 at the Taishan plant.

(More nuclear power plant stories.)

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