DEVELOPING: U.S. Assessing Leak At Chinese Nuclear Power Plant

A French company that part-owns the site warned of an ‘imminent radiological threat’

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Taishan Nuclear Power
Taishan Nuclear Power Plant

As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, which likely was a result of a lab leak in China, the continuing inability of China to properly manage its facilities has resulted in a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, which poses an “imminent radiological threat.”

CNN reported, “The US government has spent the past week assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part-owns and helps operate it warned of an ‘imminent radiological threat,’ according to US officials and documents reviewed by CNN.”

“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, according to a letter from the French company to the US Department of Energy obtained by CNN,” the report continued.

While the French company has reached out to the United States, the Chinese state-owned partner has yet to acknowledge the problem exists, posing many similarities to China’s misinformation campaign on COVID-19, which has caused nearly 4 million deaths globally as of June 2021.

U.S. officials told CNN that concern over China’s nuclear power plant leak “was significant enough that the National Security Council held multiple meetings last week as they monitored the situation, including two at the deputy level and another gathering at the assistant secretary level on Friday, which was led by NSC Senior Director for China Laura Rosenberger and Senior Director for Arms Control Mallory Stewart.”

Framatome, a French designer and supplier of nuclear equipment and services, warned in a June 8th memo to the United States Department of Energy, “The situation is an imminent radiological threat to the site and to the public and Framatome urgently requests permission to transfer technical data and assistance as may be necessary to return the plant to normal operation.”

CNN reported, “Framatome reached out to the US government for assistance, the document indicates, because a Chinese government agency was continuing to increase its limits on the amount of gas that could safely be released from the facility without shutting it down, according to the documents reviewed by CNN.”

“For now, US officials do not think the leak is at ‘crisis level,’ but acknowledge it is increasing and bears monitoring, the source familiar with the situation told CNN,” the report added. “While there is a chance the situation could become a disaster, US officials currently believe it is more likely that it will not become one, the source added.”