A reactor at Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in southern China’s Guangdong district has been shut down because of fuel rod damages, the company that runs the plant mentioned in a statement.
State-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) stated in the statement that “a small amount of fuel damage” had happened during operation, however it’s still “within the limits allowed by the technical specifications.”
It added that “after thorough discussions between French and Chinese technicians, Taishan Nuclear Power Plant decided to shut down Unit 1 reactor for maintenance, and to examine the reasons of fuel damage and replace the damaged fuel.”
The statement also stressed that the reactor is “safe and under control.”
It came to be known in June that the French company Framatome — which supports operations at Taishan — had cautioned of an “imminent radiological threat” at the plant, provoking the United States government to look into the possibility of a leak.
Framatome is a subsidiary of French power giant Electricite de France (EDF), which possesses a 30% stake in the plant’s owner and operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co., Ltd — a joint venture with CGN.
The Chinese government replied in June by saying that radiation levels around the plant were usual, adding “less than 0.01 percent” of more than 60,000 fuel rods in the Unit 1 reactor were impaired. It said the damage was “inevitable” due to factors comprising fuel manufacturing and transportation.
In July, an EDF spokesperson stated the situation was “serious,” but not an emergency.
The spokesperson mentioned if the reactor were in France, the company would have closed it down already due to “the procedures and practices in terms of operating nuclear power plants in France.”