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up and atom US probing reports of leak at Chinese nuclear power plant

French company Électricité de France contacted the US government warning of an “imminent radiological threat”, according to reports

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An artist impression of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant overlooking the construction site in Taishan, Guangdong province, October 17, 2013.  Photo: Reuters

An artist impression of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant overlooking the construction site in Taishan, Guangdong province, October 17, 2013. Photo: Reuters

An artist impression of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant overlooking the construction site in Taishan, Guangdong province, October 17, 2013. Photo: Reuters

The US government is investigating reports of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after being called contacted by a French company warning of an “imminent radiological threat”, CNN reports. 

French company Électricité de France (EDF) said in a statement it has been informed of a problem at Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province where it owns a 30pc share.

The majority is owned by state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), who has not acknowledged that a problem exists.

The power plant published a statement on its website Sunday night local time, maintaining environmental readings for both the plant and its surrounding area were "normal".

The issue first emerged when contractors Framatome, a French company mainly owned by EDF, wrote to the US Department of Energy seeking help.

They sought a waiver which would allow the US to provide technical assistance to resolve the issue at the plant, which they said is “an imminent radiological threat to the site and to the public”.

While the US can decide to grant the waiver and provide assistance, it is the Chinese government's decision as to whether the incident requires shutting down the plant completely.

Framatome have accused Chinese authorities of raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the power plant to avoid having to shut it down.

The US National Security Council held multiple meetings last week as they monitored the situation, and the Biden administration has discussed the situation with French government, as well as their own Department of Energy.

Sources told CNN the Biden administration does not believe the facility is at “crisis level” yet.

If there were any risk to the Chinese public, the US would be required to make it known under current international nuclear treaties.

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