The Buzz | China says nuclear fuel rods damaged, no radiation leak

A Chinese nuclear power plant near Hong Kong had five broken fuel rods in a reactor but no radioactivity leaked, the government said yesterday in its first confirmation of the incident that prompted concern over the facility’s safety.
Radiation rose inside the No. 1 reactor of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province but was contained by barriers that functioned as planned, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on its social media account.
The Hong Kong government said it was watching the plant and asking officials in Guangdong for details after its French co-owner reported increased “noble gases” in the reactor. Experts said that suggested fuel rods broke and leaked radioactive gas produced during nuclear fission.
The protective envelope on about five of the reactor’s 60,000 fuel rods is damaged, the ministry said. It said such damage was inevitable due to manufacturing and other problems and was well below the level the facility was designed to cope with.
The ministry said regulators would oversee measures to control radiation levels within the reactor but gave no details.

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