The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province, China has two operational EPR reactors – the same type as being built at Hinkley Point C. The first entered commercial service in December 2018 and the second in September 2019. Delays at other EPR construction sites at Olkiluoto in Finland, Flamanville in France and Hinkley Point C have meant that Taishan is the only nuclear site in the world with an operational EPR.
Commenting on the radioactive leak at Taishan, Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “Now we know why EDF has always seemed so reluctant to ‘big-up’ the EPR reactors at Taishan. The Chinese are willing to bend the rules on radiological safety to suit themselves. Today’s Times* reports that instead of shutting the reactor when the leak was detected, Chinese officials increased the authorised level of radiation.
This should be a fatal blow for the EPR reactor-type. The EPRs being built in Finland, France and here in Somerset are real industrial and financial disasters, and this leak shows that, in fact the Chinese are not doing any better. Time to call a halt and stop announcing new EPRs at Sizewell or anywhere else.”