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China nuclear reactor shut down for maintenance due to fuel rod damage

The state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) said in the statement that “a small amount of fuel damage” had occurred during operation, but it remains “within the limits allowed by the specifications. techniques”.

He added that “after extensive discussions between French and Chinese technicians, the Taishan nuclear power plant decided to shut down the Unit 1 reactor for maintenance, and to examine the reasons for the fuel damage and replace damaged fuel “.

The statement further stressed that the reactor is “safe and under control”.

CNN first reported in June that French company Framatome – which supports operations in Taishan – had warned of an “imminent radiological threat” to the plant, prompting the US government to investigate the possibility of a leak.

Framatome is a subsidiary of the French electricity giant Électricité de France (EDF), which has a 30% stake in the owner and operator of the plant, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co., Ltd – a joint venture with CGN .

The Chinese government responded in June by saying radiation levels around the plant were normal, adding that “less than 0.01%” of the more than 60,000 fuel rods in the Unit 1 reactor had been damaged. He said the damage was “inevitable” due to factors such as the manufacturing and transportation of the fuel.

In July, an EDF spokesperson said the situation was “serious”, but not urgent.

The spokesperson said that if the reactor was in France, the company would have already shut it down due to “the procedures and practices for operating nuclear power plants in France”.

The spokesperson did not directly call on China to halt operations at the plant, noting that it was a decision by CGN.

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