Date
21 August 2017
Hong Kong will benefit if it boosts the proportion of nuclear power in its energy-mix, says Raymond Ho (center), head of a safety panel for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong will benefit if it boosts the proportion of nuclear power in its energy-mix, says Raymond Ho (center), head of a safety panel for the Daya Bay nuclear power plant. Photo: HKEJ

HK must look at doubling nuclear share in energy-mix: Raymond Ho

Hong Kong should consider lifting the share of nuclear power in its energy-mix to 40 percent, from the current level of about 23 percent, in view of the electricity price and emissions concerns, said Raymond Ho Chung-tai, head of a nuclear safety panel overseeing the Daya Bay nuclear plant.

Ho said he feels that natural gas could account for 40 percent of the energy-mix in Hong Kong while coal and renewable energy could make up 20 percent.

The decision, however, rests in the hands of the public, said Ho, who chairs the Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Plant/LingAo Nuclear Plant Safety Consultative Committee. 

The comments were made at a news conference last Friday to discuss a safety report on the Daya Bay nuclear plant, which is located near Shenzhen and supplies most of its output to Hong Kong.

They came as Hong Kong’s Environmental Bureau is gathering opinions on a new round of public consultation about the city’s future fuel mix for electricity generation, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported. Proposals outlined as of now have set the ratio for nuclear power at about 20 percent, the paper noted.

Daya Bay Plant now provides about 80 percent of its power to Hong Kong. The facility is operated by a joint venture of Hong Kong utility firm CLP Holdings and China General Nuclear Power Group.

At the news conference Friday, the station’s safety commission said there were four cases of “Below Scale”, or “Level 0″ operational events at the plant last year.

Under the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, such incidents are classified as minor ones with no impact on the environment or public safety, officials said, adding that it is not mandatory to report such events to public.

In other comments, the safety panel said an “Elevated Passive Emergency Cooling Water System” demonstration project received official acceptance from the National Energy Administration (NEA) in December 2014. According to Ho, it may be put into use soon.

The system will provide water and electricity for up to 72 hours, in case of emergency, to prevent the reactor from getting overheated. It could even run without electricity.

Another pilot research initiative — “High Capacity Back-up Power Storage System development” —designated by the NEA has also passed the on-load test with satisfactory results, the safety panel said.

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MY/JP/RC

EJ Insight reporter

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