HONG KONG (AP) — The French joint operator of a Chinese nuclear plant near Hong Kong said Monday it is dealing with a “performance issue” but is currently operating within safety limits, following a report of a potential radioactive leak.
The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant is jointly owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and French multinational electric utility Électricité de France, the main owner of Framotome, which helps operate the plant.
“Framatome is supporting resolution of a performance issue with the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province, China,” Framatome said in a short statement Monday.
“According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters,” it said. “Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue.”
Radiation levels in Hong Kong, 135 kilometers (85 miles) from the Taishan plant, were normal on Monday, according to the Hong Kong Observatory, which monitors radiation around the city.
CNN reported on Monday that Framotome had written to the U.S. Department of Energy warning of an “imminent radiological threat” and accusing Chinese authorities of raising acceptable limits for radiation outside the plant to avoid having to shut it down. CNN said U.S. officials believed the current situation at the plant did not present a severe safety threat.
Chinese authorities in Beijing and Guangdong did not immediately respond to attempts to seek comment on Monday, a public holiday.
The plant issued a statement on Sunday saying “At present, continuous monitoring of environmental data shows that the environmental indicators of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and its surroundings are normal.”
It did not refer to any problems, and said “All operating indicators of the two units have met the requirements of nuclear safety regulations and power plant technical specifications.”
Associated Press writer Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.
Zen Soo, The Associated Press