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Problems at Daya Bay

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(June 3, 1994) Unit 2 of the Daya Bay nuclear power plant at Guangdong Province (China) was declared commercial on May 6, according to supplier French company Framatome. The operator, Guangdong Nuclear Power Joint Venture was "totally satisfied" with the plant. Daya Bay, just over the border from Hong Kong, came on line in February despite strong anti-nuclear protests in the British colony.

(413.4098) WISE Amsterdam - But on May 16, it was revealed that in the first week of April a leakage in the Daya Bay cooling system led to the shutdown of one of the two reactors at the nuclear plant. In one of the 40,000 pipes that made up the sea water cooling system had sprung a small leak, and the turbine generator side of the plant had to be emptied of water, the source of the leak discovered and the system flushed to check everything was all right, said safety adviser to Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Co. Dr. Jacques Pretti. Sea water in the system would eventually corrode the pipes.

And a failure at the nuclear power station blacked out parts of Kowloon (Hong Kong) for 30 minutes from about 10 pm (14.00 GMT) on May 25, Hong Kong government radio said. A spokeswoman for China Light and Power Co, the Hong Kong partner in the Daya Bay joint venture, said safety at the plant had not been compromised and there was no cause for concern.

Meanwhile China announced bold expansion plans of nuclear power. Zhao Renkai said on the 9th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference (beginning of May held in Sydney, Australia) that China plans to install 150,000 MW of NPPs by 2050. He gave sites and unit sizes for some 10,000 MW and said they should be operating or under construction by the end of 2000. Currently, China has the 300 MW Oinshan-1, an indigenous design southeast of Shanghai and the two 900 MW Daya Bay units. A total of 2,100 MW.


  • South China Morning Post, 17 May 1994
  • Nucleonics Week, 12 May, 1994
  • Greenbase 25 May 1994