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The Taishan reactor in the southern province of Guangdong in China

Fears over Hinkley Point C after potentially dangerous leak at similar reactor in China

CAMPAIGN group Stop Hinkley have raised fresh concerns about Hinkley Point C following a report in The Times about a potentially highly dangerous leak at a nuclear power station in China.

The newspaper says the United States is investigating claims that China responded to a leak at the power station that posed an “imminent radiological threat” by raising the safety limit to keep it open.

According to the Times, instead of shutting the new generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at Taishan in the southern province of Guangdong, Chinese officials increased the authorised level of radiation, EDF, the French state energy group, is said to have told Washington.

EDF, which designed the new reactors, is also involved in a joint venture with China General Nuclear Power Group to build two EPRs at Hinkley Point.

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.

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 report 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 the Chinese are not doing any better.

“It’s time to call a halt and stop announcing new EPRs at Sizewell or anywhere else.”

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