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Hong Kong Monitors Chinese Nuclear Plant after Leak Reported

Hong Kong Monitors Chinese Nuclear Plant after Leak Reported

Operators say nuclear plant is fixing a ‘performance issue’.

About a month ago, Legal Insurrection published “A Disturbing Review of Failed and Stolen Chinese Technology.”

I discussed several recent technical failures, including a high-rise building swaying dangerously. Now I might have to add China’s nuclear power plants to that list.

Framatome, a French nuclear reactor business, issued an urgent warning this past week, which US officials also evaluated (emphasis mine).

EDF [Électricité de France ], which has a minority stake in the plant, said a build-up of krypton and xenon – both inert gases – had affected the primary circuit of Taishan Unit 1, but added that it was a “known phenomenon, studied and provided for in the reactor operating procedures.”

Majority owner CGN also said in a statement that operations at the plant met safety rules.

Radiation levels in the vicinity were still normal on Monday, according to real-time data from the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA).

According to CNN, Framatome’s warning included an accusation that NNSA was raising acceptable radiation limits outside the Taishan plant to avoid having to shut it down.

I previously recounted that Chinese scientists reportedly had shortchanged safety practices in their biological laboratories by working with far fewer precautions than would be utilized for the type of pathogens they were handling. Subsequently, the warnings from Framatome warrant serious consideration.

Chinese officials were quick to assure everyone that there was no threat.

China said Tuesday radiation levels remained normal at one of its nuclear power plants and there were no safety concerns, after the station´s French operator reported a gas build-up.

“There is no abnormality in the radiation levels around the nuclear power plant, and safety is guaranteed,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Additionally, the operators at the facility indicated that they were dealing…”with a performance issue.”

Operators of a nuclear power plant in southern China are fixing a “performance issue” at the facility, its French part-owner said on Monday.

…EDF, the parent company of Framatome, said the plant’s number one reactor experienced a build-up of noble gases in its primary circuit, which is part of the cooling system.

Noble gases are elements which have low chemical reactivity. Those at the plant are the xenon and krypton gases.

The gas leaked after the coating on some fuel rods had deteriorated, a spokesman for EDF said.

All of the statements could be true. However, given the Chinese response to the coronavirus that likely came from a Wuhan lab, it seems Hong Kong has a healthy dose of skepticism.

China’s government said Tuesday no abnormal radiation was detected outside a nuclear power plant near Hong Kong following a news report of a leak, while Hong Kong’s leader said her administration was closely watching the facility.

…”With regards to foreign media reports about a nuclear plant in Taishan, Guangzhou, the Hong Kong government attaches a high degree of importance to this,” said Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

She said her government would ask authorities in Guangdong for information and tell the public about any developments.

I suggest keeping an eye on the world’s supply of potassium iodide, which people use for radiation treatment. If the Chinese start buying up the world’s collection, it’s time to get worried.


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Subotai Bahadur | June 16, 2021 at 10:15 pm

Just for feces and rictus, compare this to the incident at Three Mile Island-2 react0r. There was a similar release of noble gases as noted in the final report:

“During the course of the accident, approximately 2.5 MCi (93 PBq) of radioactive noble gases and 15 Ci (560 GBq) of radioiodines were released.” This resulted in an average dose of 1.4 mrem (14 μSv) to the two million people near the plant. The report compared this with the additional 80 mrem (800 μSv) per year received from living in a high altitude city such as Denver.[40] As further comparison, a patient receives 3.2 mrem (32 μSv) from a chest X-ray—more than twice the average dose of those received near the plant.”

The Taishan reactor is releasing the exact same radioactive isotope gases, xenon and krypton, from apparently the same source, i.e. the coatings of the fuel rods. Granting, we do not had any quantification of the amounts released and even if we got figures from the Chinese government they could not be trusted.

I seem to remember that we went chiroptera feces crazy and shut down the TMI-2 reactor completely and immediately. The amount of trust I have in PRC safety measures is especially limited given the ongoing blatant lies told by and for the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The fact that their French government partner is freaking out and asking for help while the PRC claims everything is under control is not comforting.

However to our current regime, and their captive media, if a mushroom cloud rose from the site, it would be considered an indication of Chinese goodwill and candor.

Subotai Bahadur

Uranium power plants are not something that are inherently safe. Especially in a society where substandard materials and engineering shortcuts are the norm rather than the exception. Maybe there is more than one reason to call it ‘The China Syndrome’.

Saying there has been no elevated level of radioactivity around the plant means nothing. If there IS elevated radioactivity around the plant, especially downwind, the situation is already out of control.

Is Hong Kong downwind?

Just what we need. A Communist regime cutting corners and causing a civilian fission nuclear reactor accident. It will provide enough fear to stop Gen IV development and implementation for another 3 decades everywhere else.

Leslie: go easy on recommending potassium iodide (KI). KI does only one thing, it floods the thyroid with iodine which can greatly reduce any radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid (a small amount of radioactive iodine will still enter the thyroid if the concentration is high enough). KI needs to be taken before exposure to the radioactive iodine for the KI to be effective. It can be taken within a few hours after exposure but with diminished effectiveness. The thyroid snatches up any iodine, radioactive or not, that comes its way through the blood stream. If you get a thyroid test using radioactive iodine, complete uptake will occur within a few minutes. If exposure is likely to continue, then taking KI can be helpful. KI will not protect you from any other radioactive material – period. A very small subset of the population is sensitive to iodine and this must be considered when recommending KI.

As noted in the article, krypton and xenon are noble gases. They are not retained in the body. In a cloud of either/both, an amount can be absorbed by the body which will quickly dissipate from the body once the person is removed from the cloud or the cloud dissipates.

As with any radioactive material, dilution is a solution, which is part of the solution KI brings to the table (the other solution being the uptake blocking). Being gases, Kr and Xe are usually dispersed very quickly in the atmosphere thereby rapidly diluting the gas and reducing any risk to minimal levels.

My concern with the China reactor is that if Xe and Kr are being released from the reactor rods, then other radioactives maybe getting released with a big concern for the iodines. Anyone trust the Chinese to be telling the whole story?