China on Tuesday played down the reports of a leak at one of its nuclear power plants, asserting that there is no abnormal environmental radioactive level in the surrounding areas and the public safety is guaranteed. China’s response came after CNN reported on Monday that the US government was assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that partly owns and helps to operate it warned of an “imminent radiological threat.
The warning 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. I want stress that based on the information we got from competent authorities to date, the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant meets the requirements of the technical specifications and there is no abnormal environmental radioactive level in areas surrounding the power plant, so safety is guaranteed, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.
He parried questions on whether the Chinese authorities have raised the acceptable limits of radiation around the plant. Zhao said China attaches high importance to nuclear safety.
We put our nuclear safety regulatory system consistent with our national conditions and up to international standards. Also, the nuclear safety administration working in close cooperation with relevant nuclear safety regulatory institutions and engaged in communication with IAEA and the convention on nuclear safety and other multilateral mechanisms, he said. Zhao said to date Chinese nuclear power stations have maintained a good operational record.
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He said there has been no incident of environmental and public health impact. The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant is jointly owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and French multinational electric utility Electricite de France, the main owner of Framotome, which helps operate the plant.