China Radiation Leak (General)

by dulan drift, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 17:54 (224 days ago)

Anonymous EDF spokesman: We are not in a scenario of an accident with a melting core.

We are not talking about contamination, we are talking about controlled emissions.

Why is the spokesman for EDF (French partner company) anonymous? It's a major company, it's not the dark web.

CNN: French engineering company Framatome, which is owned by EDF Energy and designed the reactor, sent a letter to the US Department of Energy, warning them of the potential leak. It also warned that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant to prevent it from being shut down.

Anonymous EDF spokesman: The gas leaked after the coating on some of the fuel rods deteriorated.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group has denied there was any leak.

China Radiation Leak

by dan @, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 18:44 (224 days ago) @ dulan drift

Anonymous EDF spokesman: We are not in a scenario of an accident with a melting core.

We are not talking about contamination, we are talking about controlled emissions.


This is what strikes me as telling of a desperate coverup:

EDF Energy confirmed that gases that had built up in a component of the plant were deliberately released.

A spokesperson said this was because of a fuel rod problem.

"We are not in a scenario of an accident with a melting core," an EDF spokesman who did not want to be named told AFP news agency.

"We are not talking about contamination, we are talking about controlled emissions."

The facility's Chinese part-owner, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, refuted claims of a leak on Monday. (Emphasis added)

So, it's a fuel rod problem, OK, we got that.

But this is pure doublespeak: "We are not talking about contamination, we are talking about controlled emissions." As if emissions cannot be contamination. As if releasing these emissions on purpose (to prevent an explosion or meltdown?) somehow means they don't qualify as contamination.

The fact that the French partner admits a leak while the Chinese partner denies it is bad news. So much for transparency.

But then there's this near the end, which is very interesting:

The region has faced power shortages in recent weeks due to hot weather and lower than normal hydropower supplies from Yunnan province.

China is in the process of ordering Bitcoin miners to close up shop. See:

China's cryptocurrency-mining crackdown spreads to Yunnan in southwest - media

The Chinese are claiming that this move is in part due to energy use, but also due to the fluctuating nature of Bitcoin (and, one presumes, because Bitcoin will compete with there new digital Yuan.)

But it appears that the real reason for this crackdown is mainly because China is facing an energy crunch. But it gets more interesting. Part of the reason China is facing an energy crunch is it's trade war with Australia, from whom it is now importing less coal and LNG.

So this all demonstrates the extent to which the global economy is just that, a global economy in which events in one country directly affect another.

China Radiation Leak

by dan @, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 18:52 (224 days ago) @ dan

The region has faced power shortages in recent weeks due to hot weather and lower than normal hydropower supplies from Yunnan province.

China is in the process of ordering Bitcoin miners to close up shop. See:

China's cryptocurrency-mining crackdown spreads to Yunnan in southwest

So clearly something is up in Yunnan province, in addition to other provinces that were previously ordered to stop Bitcoin mining, presumably to save much needed energy, not because Bitcoin is a threat to society.

Also, if the CCP was truly afraid of Bitcoin mining, it would shut it down nationwide simultaneously. It's shutting mining down only as needed. IMO, it actually wants as much Bitcoin mining to remain in China as possible. Why wouldn't they? It gives them better control over it.

China Radiation Leak

by dan @, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 19:25 (224 days ago) @ dan

It looks as though this story may have been broken by CNN, though still trying to confirm.

Here are some disturbing highlights, in addition to what Mike already posted all from this CNN story:

  • ...a French company that part owns and helps operate it warned of an "imminent radiological threat,...
  • The warning included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down...
  • Despite the alarming notification from Framatome, the French company, the Biden administration believes the facility is not yet at a "crisis level," COMMENT: Note the use of the adverb YET.
  • Framatome had reached out to the US in order to obtain a waiver that would allow them to share American technical assistance in order to resolve the issue at the Chinese plant. There are only two reasons why this waiver would be granted, and one is an "imminent radiological threat," the same verbiage used in the June 8 memo. COMMENT: What is the other?
  • The two nuclear reactors in Taishan are both operational, the statement said, adding that Unit 2 had recently completed an "overhaul" and "successfully connected to the grid on June 10, 2021." The statement did not define why or how the plant was overhauled.
  • Later on Monday, a spokesperson for EDF said the increased levels of radiation were caused by a "degradation of the housing of the fuel rods." COMMENT: But.. didn't the plant just get overhauled? And the housings of the fuel rods are failing? Doesn't make sense.
  • The spokesperson noted that the risk of a potential leakage in the rod housing was first discussed following a planned refueling outage in October 2020 after initial measurements led to suspicions of a "lack of tightness" in the housings. However, the spokesperson stressed that without a full analysis, it is too early to confirm whether a complete shutdown of the reactor is needed, adding that EDF currently has no information regarding the origin of the rod housing degradation. COMMENT: So, they knew the housings were bad, but more importantly, right now, they still don't know if the reactor should or should not be shut down.

It gets worse:

The issue first emerged when Framatome, a French designer and supplier of nuclear equipment and services that was contracted to help construct and operate the Chinese-French plant, reached out to the US Department of Energy late last month informing them of a potential issue at the Chinese nuclear plant.

The company, mainly owned by EDF, the French utility company, then submitted an operational safety assistance request on June 3, formally asking for a waiver that would allow them to address an urgent safety matter, to the Department of Energy, warning American officials that the nuclear reactor is leaking fission gas.

The company followed up with DOE on June 8 asking for an expedited review of their request, according to a memo obtained by CNN. (Emphasis added)

So it appears this situation has been getting worse over the last month, and that it reached a point that the company had to essentially send an emergency request of sorts to expedite the request for help.

Framatome reached out to the US government for assistance, the document indicates, because a Chinese government agency was continuing to increase its limits on the amount of gas that could safely be released from the facility without shutting it down, (Emphasis added)

So they were continuing to increase the limits. This wasn't a one off increase. It's an ongoing increase of limits.... but.. OK, no contamination.

In the June 8 memo, Framatome informed DOE the Chinese safety authority has continued to raise regulatory "off-site dose limits." It also says the company suspects that limit might be increased again as to keep the leaking reactor running despite safety concerns for the surrounding population. (Emphasis added)

Good God.

"If they do have a gas leak, that indicates some of their containment is broken," Rofer said. "It also argues that maybe some of the fuel elements could be broken, which would be a more serious problem."

Nothing to see here everyone. Keep moving.

While there is a chance the situation could become a disaster, US officials currently believe it is more likely that it will not become one, the source added.

Well, that's reassuring! Sort of like, I don't know, the pandemic!

China Radiation Leak

by dulan drift, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 05:41 (224 days ago) @ dan

While there is a chance the situation could become a disaster, US officials currently believe it is more likely that it will not become one, the source added.

Well, that's reassuring! Sort of like, I don't know, the pandemic!

It's got the key ingredients - accident/leak, China, denials - doesn't fill one with confidence.

The Bitcoin aspect is interesting. Was aware that mining Bitcoin burns through the juice but didn't know the extent.

Another unknown is the state of play of the cyber-war. We hear about some of the attacks on key US facilities, but as Dan pointed out, there would be counter-attacks going on in China that we don't hear about. Has one of those further exacerbated the power shortages in southern China?

This is why i'd like to see (but won't) more openness in cyber-wars - that sounds like an oxymoron, but if we're in a war, then i'd like to know about it.

Still don't quite understand the 'waiver' bit - 'waiver' from what?

China Radiation Leak

by dan @, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 15:29 (223 days ago) @ dulan drift

Still don't quite understand the 'waiver' bit - 'waiver' from what?

Framatome had reached out to the US in order to obtain a waiver that would allow them to share American technical assistance in order to resolve the issue at the Chinese plant. There are only two reasons why this waiver would be granted, and one is an "imminent radiological threat," the same verbiage used in the June 8 memo.

I'm guessing they're requesting some sort of advanced, protected technical procedures for fixing a major fuck up in a nuclear plant. The French actions are what makes me think this in on the brink of being something major, but something they're trying to reel in fast. Not only did they request this waiver (an extraordinary action in itself), they then sent a request for their initial request to be expedited. They're in a hurry.

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