As fears of a nuclear leak at a nearby Chinese power plant continue to loom, Chief Executive Carrie Lam says her administration is “highly concerned” and will follow up with mainland authorities today.
Her remarks on Tuesday came a day after CNN reported that the U.S. was assessing a report of a leak at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, which is about 130 kilometers west of Hong Kong, after French firm Framatome warned of an “imminent radiological threat.”
“As the Security Bureau said last night, everything is normal and in line with the relevant standards,” she told the press ahead of her weekly meeting with the Executive Council on Tuesday morning. She added that officials will reach out to relevant departments in China and keep the public posted on any developments.
The Bureau finally issued a statement at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, quoting China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration as saying that the Taishan nuclear power plant is safe and there is no radiological leakage at the site. On top of the existing notification mechanism, the Bureau will stay in touch with mainland authorities to keep abreast of latest updates.
The statement added that the Observatory, the Water Supplies Department as well as the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department have been monitoring the radiation levels in the city’s air, water and food to safeguard the health of Hong Kong residents.
Meanwhile, Macao confirmed on Tuesday morning that they have already contacted authorities in Guangdong province.
Macao’s Unitary Police Department said Guangdong Province’s Emergency Management Office stressed the plant is operating within the safety parameters. Environmental indicators of the facility as well as its surroundings are normal, police added.
Beijing also addressed the growing concerns on Tuesday afternoon. “There is no abnormality in the radiation levels around the nuclear power plant, and safety is guaranteed,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stressed.
Citing a letter from Framatome to the U.S. energy department, CNN’s exclusive report said the French operator also accused the Chinese safety authority of raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the facility in order to avoid having to shut it down.