Radiation normal at nuclear plant

Updated: 2011-04-22 20:15
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BEIJING - The Chinese government said Friday that radiation levels from the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station remained normal and "pose no threat to human health," addressing previous reports of abnormal radioactive emissions from the complex.

The statement was made Friday by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the National Nuclear Safety Administration in response to reports from Hong Kong and overseas media that radioactive tritium was detected in the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, located in Hong Kong's neighboring city Shenzhen, and the accumulative amount had reached one eighth of the inhaling volume limit set by Hong Kong's Department of Health.

According to the statement, it is normal and international conduct to release amounts of radioactive tritium within a set limit during the operation of a nuclear power plant.

"Since the Daya Bay commenced operation, its gaseous tritium release has been under constant monitoring and the results have been reported monthly," said the statement, adding that the amount released in 2010 was 5.3 percent of the annual limit set by the ministry.

The ministry said that the "one eighth of the volume limit" claimed in previous media reports could be the result of a calculation made on the false premise that all the released tritium was inhaled by one person.

According to the ministry's estimates, the actual amount inhaled per capita last year was below one billionth of the limit set by the health department, considering the released gaseous tritium was dispersed in the air.

Monitoring results in the past few years show that gaseous tritium levels released by both the Daya Bay and Ling'ao nuclear power stations were "extremely minute" and posed no threat to public health, the statement added.

Ling'ao, Daya Bay complex's neighboring power plant, is also located in Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province.