5th September 2013
82 Amendments Proposed by British, China Couldn’t Have Adopted
Any Accident at Taishan Nuclear Plant Will be Worse than Fukushima
Taishan authority has almost completed the world’s first European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), located just 100km away from Lantau Island. The Professional Commons said that the Taishan nuclear plant failed to comply with the European Safety Standard, and its radiation level is three times higher than that of the Fukushima’s Daiichi Plant. The Professional Commons and eight other groups ask the Taishan plant to postpone its operation. Local expert said that if any leakage or melt down happens in Taishan, the nuclear pollution will be far worse than that in Fukushima.
Finland and France both began the construction of their EPRs before Taishan, but have delayed their operations as the plants do not meet the safety standards. The two plants will not be in operation until 2015 and 2016. Albert Lai Kwong-tak, convener of The Professional Commons, said that the British authority began evaluating EPR’s technical safety level in 2007, and submitted the evaluation report end of 2012 which proposed 82 amendments, hence the British government has not begun the construction so far. Taishan is at the final stage of construction and about to complete its plant, there is no way the construction could have adopted any of the British amendments. “If the Taishan plant was put in Europe, no one would have approved it. Are the lives in China worth less than those in Europe?”
Different from existing nuclear generators, EPR uses digital system. Albert Lai explained that the digital system consists of two parts, one controls the plant’s daily operation and the other will take over should the first one experiences malfunction. The British report finds that “if one is malfunction, the other part of the system will be affected too, which means the nuclear plant will loss control”. This is why the British authority asks the spare safety system to be changed as analog, allowing manual control. However, the world has no idea how Taishan authority seals this loophole.
Roy Tam Hoi-bong from Green Sense questioned that the construction price of the Taishan nuclear generator was at least 50% cheaper than any European built models, “The ‘authentic’ plants in Europe have yet to obtained safety approval, (I) have less confidence in the Taishan copied version. It is only reasonable for people to ask for a delay to operate the plant.” Lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong asks the Hong Kong SAR government to report on the details of progress and safety evaluation of Guangdong nuclear plants every one to two months.
After the concerns of Taishan’s new nuclear plants being reported in local newspapers, the number of signatures of the e-petition demanding Guangdong authority to make details of the facilities public has jumped from 500 to 1,800. The e-petition also seeks support from Guangdong residents: http://www.nonuke.hk