‘Performance issue’ reported at China nuclear facility

'Performance issue' reported at nuclear facility
Owners of the Taishan plant said noble gases were deliberately released from the facility. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: A French energy company named EDF Energy, says it is working to resolve a “performance issue” at a Chinese nuclear facility following claims of a potential leak.

The company confirmed that gases that had built up in a component of the nuclear facility were deliberately released.

A spokesperson said that the leak was because of a fuel rod problem.

An EDF spokesman told AFP: “We are not in a scenario of an accident with a melting core.”

“We are not talking about contamination, we are talking about controlled emissions,” the spokesperson, who did not ant to be named, added.

It comes after US media CNN reported that the US government had been assessing reports of a leak at the Taishan plant in China.

The plant’s Chinese part-owner, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, refuted the claims of a leak on Monday.

EDF Energy said there was a build up of noble gases – also known as inert gases – in part of the cooling system of the plant’s number one reactor. The gases were collected and treated before being released into the atmosphere in “accordance with regulations”.

The unnamed spokesman said that the gas leaked after the coating on some of the fuel rods deteriorated. Fuel rods are sealed metal tubes which hold nuclear materials used to fuel the nuclear reactor.

Noble gases are a group of stable chemical elements which have very low reactivity. They are often used in situations where scientists don’t want chemical reactions, for instance in nuclear reactors or lighting.

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