Second radiation leak causes concern in Hong Kong

The Chinese press have reported a second leak from a nuclear power station in Daya Bay, Guangdong in the south of China, 50 kilometres from Hong Kong.

The operator CLP Power denies that there is any risk to human health or the environment.

The first leak occurred in May of this year and was acknowledged by the company in June, after the Security Bureau in Hong Kong made enquires. The company issued a statement then saying as the leak was insignificant in its levels of radiation, so no notification had been required.

In the latest leak, the company have reportedly said that although workers were exposed to radiation, it was a minimal amount, equivalent to two chest x-rays.

The incident, which involved a flaw in a water pipe section of a residual heat removal system, was cclassified as a level-one accident according to CLP. There is a 0-7 point set by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Only nuclear reactor accidents classified as level-two or above are required to be reported to the public and international organisations immediately.

However, Greenpeace campaigners and Hong Kong Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-Sun have said that the company’s explanations are unacceptable and the public has a right to be informed.

Alison Brown

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