Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

France’s nuclear authorities anxious about the safety of China’s nuclear power programme

safety-symbol“the state of conservation” of large components like pumps and steam generators at Taishan “was not at an adequate level” and was “far” from the standards of the two other EPR plants, one in Finland and the other in Flamanville, France

 in a rare public comment about safety concerns, China’s own State Council Research Office three years ago warned that the development of the country’s power plants may be accelerating too quickly.

Critics of China’s nuclear safety regime, including Albert Lai, chairman of The Professional Commons, a Hong Kong think tank, says that lack of information risks eroding confidence in safety controls in what’s set to be a 14-fold increase of atomic capacity by 2030.

“The workings of China’s atomic safety authority are a ‘‘total black box,’’ said Lai. ‘‘China has no transparency whatsoever.’’

flag-ChinaChina Regulators ‘Overwhelmed’ as Reactors Built at Pace, Bloomberg  ,   , June 20, 2014June 19 (Bloomberg) — China is moving quickly to become the first country to operate the world’s most powerful atomic reactor even as France’s nuclear regulator says communication and cooperation on safety measures with its Chinese counterparts are lacking.

In the coastal city of Taishan, 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the financial hub of Hong Kong, Chinese builders are entering the final construction stages for two state-of-the-art European Pressurized Reactors. Each will produce about twice as much electricity as the average reactor worldwide.

France has a lot riding on a smooth roll out of China’s EPRs. The country is home to Areva SA, which developed the next-generation reactor, and utility Electricite de France SA, which oversees the project. The two companies, controlled by the French state, need a safe, trouble-free debut in China to ensure a future for their biggest new product in a generation. And French authorities have not hidden their concerns.“It’s not always easy to know what is happening at the Taishan site,” Stephane Pailler, head of international relations at France’s Autorite de Surete Nucleaire regulator, said in an interview. “We don’t have a regular relationship with the Chinese on EPR control like we have with the Finnish,” said Pailler referring to another EPR plant under construction in Finland.

Calls and faxes to China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration regulator seeking comment went unanswered. China General Nuclear Power Corp., the atomic operator that is building the reactor with the French, didn’t responded to queries.

First Indications

The first indications of French unease came when Philippe Jamet, one of the regulator’s five governing commissioners, testified before French Parliament in February.

“Unfortunately, collaboration isn’t at a level we would wish it to be” with China, Jamet said. “One of the explanations for the difficulties in our relations is that the Chinese safety authorities lack means. They are overwhelmed.” Then, in March, EDF’s internal safety inspector Jean Tandonnet published his annual report to the utility’s chief executive that detailed a mid-2013 visit to the Taishan building site. He wrote that “the state of conservation” of large components like pumps and steam generators at Taishan “was not at an adequate level” and was “far” from the standards of the two other EPR plants, one in Finland and the other in Flamanville, France. Tandonnet urged corrective measures and wrote that studies “are under way on tsunami and flooding risks.”……
in a rare public comment about safety concerns, China’s own State Council Research Office three years ago warned that the development of the country’s power plants may be accelerating too quickly.

‘Current Momentum’

“If the current momentum of development continues, if too many nuclear power projects are started too quickly, it could jeopardize the healthy, long-term development of nuclear power,” Fan Bi, a deputy director at the State Council Research Office, wrote in an article for Outlook Magazine, published by the official Xinhua news agency, two months before the Fukushima disaster……

The Chinese regulator’s website contains relatively little information about safety issues. The most recent post on Taishan is a 2009 report on the start of cement work at the reactor referring to “problems left over from early-stage construction.” It said all current work was up to standards, without elaborating. In total just nine posts on the website mention Taishan, and many are blank apart from the title.

Critics of China’s nuclear safety regime, including Albert Lai, chairman of The Professional Commons, a Hong Kong think tank, says that lack of information risks eroding confidence in safety controls in what’s set to be a 14-fold increase of atomic capacity by 2030.

“The workings of China’s atomic safety authority are a ‘‘total black box,’’ said Lai. ‘‘China has no transparency whatsoever.’’

To contact the reporters on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net; Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong at bhaas7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy atwkennedy3@bloomberg.net Todd White, Rick Schine http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-18/french-nuclear-regulator-says-china-cooperation-lacking

 

August 16, 2015 - Posted by | INTERNATIONAL

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: