Radioactive leak in China: the fatal blow for the French nuclear reactor EPR. If it is not yet possible at this time to measure the exact extent of the problem – a radioactive leak in the primary circuit, that which contains the nuclear fuel – and the seriousness of the situation, it is already obvious that this is a probably fatal blow for EDF’s plans to build EPRs in France and abroad. Indeed, while the EPR sites organized by the French – Areva in Finland, EDF in Flamanville (Manche) and in Great Britain – are real industrial and financial disasters, the promoters of the EPR reactor clung desperately to the “good example” Chinese. Because the two Taïshan EPRs were built and put into service (respectively in December 2018 and September 2019) with “only” a few years of delay and additional costs officially limited to a few billion (according to the communication from China which, should we remembering this, is a dictatorship where “information” is totally controlled). The current situation in China shows that, despite the alleged mastery of the Chinese nucleocrats, the Taïshan EPRs are not doing any better than those that the French are desperately trying to build. This event should bring the French political leaders (but also Finnish and British) to finally take their responsibilities and to definitively stop the EPR sites of Olkiluoto (Finland), Flamanville (Manche, France) and Hinkley Point (Great Britain), and to stop announcing future EPR projects in India or elsewhere.
Observatoire du Nucleaire 14th June 2021 read more »
EDF, the French state-backed utility, said it was seeking to hold an extraordinary board meeting of its joint venture nuclear power plant in southern China after a report of a possible radiation leak.EDF said on Monday that it had been “informed of the increase in the concentration of certain noble gases” in the first reactor at Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, which is majority held by China General Nuclear Power Corp. Noble gases are inert gases, such as helium, xenon and radon.It added that such increases were “a known phenomenon, studied and provided for in reactor operating procedures” but said it was calling for the extraordinary board meeting to review all available data. EDF said later on Monday that the build-up of inert gases in Taishan seemed to be because of issues with the casing around some fuel rods, which represented the first of three containment barriers at the reactor.
FT 14th June 2021 read more »
A French nuclear company has said it is working to resolve a “performance issue” at a plant it part-owns in China’s southern Guangdong province after an earlier report of a potential leak there. Framatome, a subsidiary of the energy giant EDF, told Agence France-Presse news agency that it was “supporting resolution of a performance issue” at the plant. “According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters,” it said, adding that an extraordinary meeting of the power plant’s board had been called “to present all the data and the necessary decisions”.
Guardian 14th June 2021 read more »
Independent 14th June 2021 read more »
Incident at an EPR nuclear reactor in southern China. A “leak” would have appeared recently in one of the two reactors of the Taishan nuclear power plant developed by France, revealed Monday, the American channel CNN. Chinese authorities have not communicated on the matter. This is a new blow for the EPR, the latest generation of nuclear power plant developed by the French industry. The significance of this is not yet known, but a “leak” recently occurred in one of the two reactors at the Taishan nuclear power plant in southern China, the broadcaster revealed on Monday (June 14th). American CNN. EDF refers to an “increase in the concentration of” rare gases “in the primary circuit”, which is located in the double concrete enclosure enclosing the boiler. An incident serious enough to cause concern among US authorities. For its part, the French government was warned Thursday, June 10, and the foreign ministry took up the matter, it is reported in Paris.
Le Monde 14th June 2021 read more »
EDF has been informed of the increase in the concentration of certain rare gases in the primary circuit of reactor no.1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant owned and operated by TNPJVC, a joint venture of CGN (70%) and EDF (30% ). The presence of certain rare gases in the primary circuit is a known phenomenon, studied and foreseen by the operating procedures of the reactors. EDF has contacted the TNPJVC teams and is providing its expertise. EDF, as a shareholder of TNPJVC, requested the holding of an extraordinary board of directors of TPNJVC so that management presents all the data and the necessary decisions.
EDF (France) 14th June 2021 read more »
The problems encountered on an EPR in service in China do not fall well for the French energy group EDF, which hopes for new projects for its reactor but also for the Chinese industry, according to experts.
Connaissance des Energies 15th June 2021 read more »
The US is investigating claims that China responded to a leak posing an “imminent radiological threat” at a nuclear power station by raising the safety limit to keep it open. Instead of shutting the new generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong when the leak was detected, Chinese officials increased the authorised level of radiation, EDF, the French state energy group, is said to have told Washington. EDF, which designed and is helping to run the new reactors in Taishan, is also involved in a joint venture with China General Nuclear Power Group, the Chinese state group, to build two EPRs at Hinkley Point in Somerset at an estimated cost of up to £22.5 billion. The government is banking upon them to provide about 7 per cent of Britain’s electricity. Criticism of the decision to give China a key role in Britain’s nuclear sector is likely to be fuelled by the disclosure that Framatome, a subsidiary of EDF, wrote to the US department of energy on June 8 to request American technological assistance with a leak posing an “imminent radiological threat” at one of the reactors in Taishan, 120 kilometres from Hong Kong. Framatome’s memo said the nuclear facility’s rules stipulated that it should be shut down if radiation exceeded the regulatory limit, according to CNN, the US broadcaster.
Times 14th June 2021 read more »
Times 15th June 2021 read more »
‘Leaking’ Chinese nuclear power plant ‘could spark disaster’: American intelligence warns reactor has been pumping out radioactive gas for two weeks… but Beijing insists everything is normal. French energy firm that co-owns Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in southern China warned US intelligence two weeks ago that it was leaking radioactive gas. America has reviewed the situation and concluded it could turn into a disaster. But they believe situation is not yet at ‘crisis level’ and it may still be resolved. Chinese state firm which owns plant insisted Sunday that everything is ‘normal’. A Chinese nuclear power station is leaking radioactive gas and could become a major disaster, according to secret US intelligence reports. Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, located in southern Guangdong province, is thought to have been leaking for at least two weeks after a French firm that co-owns the facility flagged the issue to Washington. American agents have spent the last week monitoring the situation and have concluded it has the potential turn into a major disaster but that facility is not currently at ‘crisis level’.
Daily Mail 14th June 2021 read more »
Daily Mail 14th June 2021 read more »
Hong Kong´s leader said Tuesday her government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking. The plant´s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts say based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal Monday night, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said. Data on Tuesday from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation still normal.
Daily Mail 15th June 2021 read more »
French power group EDF (EDF.PA) has begun examination of a potential issue linked to a build up of inert gases at its nuclear power station in China, though the company and its Chinese partner said the plant was operating safely. CNN reported on Monday that the U.S. government had spent the past week assessing a report of a leak at the Taishan power plant in Guangdong province run by a joint venture between EDF and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN). The U.S. news network reported that Framatome, the EDF business that designed the plant’s reactor and remains involved in its operations, had warned of an “imminent radiological threat”. EDF said the build-up of noble gases krypton and xenon, which it said had affected the primary circuit of reactor No.1 of the Taishan plant, was a “known phenomenon, studied and provided for in the reactor operating procedures”.
Reuters 14th June 2021 read more »
A French energy company says it has deliberately released gas from a Chinese nuclear power plant in a bid to fix an “issue”. EDF confirmed that there was a build-up of noble gasses in one of the two reactors’ primary circuits. It comes after CNN reported that the US government had been assessing reports of a leak at the Taishan plant. The plant’s Chinese part-owner, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, refuted claims of a leak on Monday. A spokesperson for EDF said that the coating on some of the fuel rods had deteriorated. The gases were collected and treated before being released into the atmosphere in “accordance with regulations”. CNN reported that Framatome, owned by EDF, had sent a letter to the US Department of Energy, warning them of the potential leak. It also warned that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant to prevent it from being shut down. Sources told CNN that the Biden administration had discussed the situation with the Department of Energy’s experts and the French government. However the facility was not believed to be at a “crisis level” yet.
BBC 14th June 2021 read more »
Fuel assembly ducts could be the source of the problem with the Taishan EPR in China, an EDF spokesperson (PA: EDF) said on Monday. According to him, the first measures suggesting sealing problems of fuel ducts within the Taishan EPR date back to October 2020. “It is premature to say whether it will be necessary to shut down the Taishan No. 1 reactor to resolve the problem identified,” added the spokesperson.
Reuters 14th June 2021 read more »
Unusual activity at a nuclear power reactor in China has drawn international attention, as two French companies involved in the plant acknowledged problems on Monday but said they could be handled safely. The companies were responding to a report by CNN on Monday that Framatome, one of the companies, had sought help from the United States, citing an “imminent radiological threat” at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province. EDF, France’s main power utility and part owner of the power plant, said in a statement that certain gases had accumulated in the water and steam surrounding the uranium fuel rods at the heart of the reactor. But it said that the reactor had procedures for dealing with such a buildup of gases, which it described as a “known phenomenon.”
New York Times 14th June 2021 read more »
Unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant is operating at full power and there has been no release of radiation at the plant or in the surrounding area, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday following media reports of a leak at the plant in China’s Guangdong province. France’s EDF, which holds a 30% stake in the two-unit plant, said it had been informed of an increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the EPR reactor’s primary circuit.
World Nuclear News 14th June 2021 read more »