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China’s nuclear power plant flags performance issues, says French component owners

French power giant Électricité de France SA has requested an extraordinary board meeting with the Chinese manager of a nuclear power plant co-owned in southeastern China, detailing the accumulation of gas in one of the power plant’s reactors. He said he got the information.

EDF received data from the manager of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province, 80 miles west of Hong Kong, showing that noble gas concentrations are rising in one of the reactor’s primary circuits. He later said he had made a request on Saturday. , This is part of the reactor cooling system.

Accumulation of such low-chemically reactive gases is not considered dangerous in small amounts, EDF engineers told reporters. One of the engineers said EDF believes that some fuel rod coatings have deteriorated.

EDF evaluated the condition of the plant After CNN reports U.S. officials were appreciating the request from EDF subsidiary Framatome to transfer technical data and assistance to a Chinese factory so that the French company could address the “imminent radiation threat.”

Framatome said it “helps solve performance problems” at Taishan Nuclear Power Station. According to the available data, the plant is operating within the safety parameters. “Our team works with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address potential issues,” the company said.

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant is owned by the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant Joint Venture, a joint venture between the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group, which owns 51%, and EDF, which owns 30%. Guangdong Energy Group Co., Ltd. owns 19%.The United States has China General Nuclear Power Group and three other Chinese companies Its export blacklist In 2019, he said, “We have engaged in or enabled efforts to acquire advanced US nuclear technology and materials for military use in China.”

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant said that the plant is operating within safety parameters and that the environmental indicators of the plant and its surrounding area are normal, according to the available data. According to the city’s observatory, no anomalous radiation has been reported from either Hong Kong or Macau, 40 miles from the factory.

The joint venture has always “controlled the operation of the unit in strict accordance with driver’s license documents and technical procedures,” he said. All operational indicators of both units meet the requirements of nuclear safety regulations and the technical specifications of the plant. “

EDF engineers said it was too early to say if the plant needed to be taken offline to resolve the issue. According to one of the EDF engineers, the gases xenon and krypton dissolve in the water in the primary circuit and their concentrations are tightly controlled to ensure the safety of maintenance workers.

The presence of gas in the primary circuit is “a known phenomenon and has been studied and provided in the operating procedures of the reactor,” EDF said.

A spokesman for the US Embassy in Beijing declined to comment. A spokesman for French President Emmanuel Macron also declined to comment.

According to EDF, the plant is the result of the first nuclear power agreement signed between China and foreign investors. Factory construction Beginning in November 2009, the first unit began generating electricity in 2018.

In April 2020, Framatome stated that the two units of the plant were “the most powerful nuclear reactors in operation in the world”. According to the China Nuclear Energy Association, 5% of China’s electricity generation in 2020 was nuclear energy. The total capacity of the 49 reactors currently in operation is 51 gigawatts.

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com And with Chongkopin chong.kohping@wsj.com

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China’s nuclear power plant flags performance issues, says French component owners

Source link China’s nuclear power plant flags performance issues, says French component owners

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