CGN Power vows full transparency on any radiation incident

November 27, 2014 11:42
CGN's joint-venture Daya Bay nuclear power plant was in the news in the recent past for some minor radiation leakage incidents. Photo: HKEJ

CGN Power Co. Ltd. (01816.HK), China's largest nuclear power producer, will report any radiation leakage incident, even if it is a minor one, at its facilities very promptly and ensure full transparency, its chairman said.

"We have never seen Level One or above incidents [on International Nuclear Event Scale] happening so far. Even if the event is at Level Zero, we will still announce it within 24 hours during working days and 72 hours during non-working days," Zhang Shanming told reporters in Hong Kong Wednesday.

He refuted suggestions that the group was less than forthcoming on some incidents at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, a joint venture between CGN group and Hong Kong's CLP Holdings, in the past. 

Radio Free Asia reported in 2010 that the Daya Bay plant, which is located in Longgang district in Shenzhen, had some abnormal radiation leakage in May that year, but the Chinese government didn't make the news public as some luxury property and and other facilities were being developed nearby.

In another incident, the nuclear power plant had a "very small leakage" from a fuel rod that has been contained, media reports said in June this year, citing CLP Holdings.

The event was "below the rating" that would require reporting based on the International Nuclear Event Scale, CLP was quoted as saying. But the matter has been notified to China's National Nuclear Safety Administration, a central government agency, and the Daya Bay Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee, made up of Hong Kong legislators and academics, the company said.

Level Zero is regarded as insignificant occurrence while level One to Level Three events are known as "Incidents", which have safety implications but involve very little or no impact on the environment. Level 4 to level 7 events are called "Accidents" and involve various degrees of radiological impact, according to Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Co Ltd.

CGN Power is currently seeking to raise up to HK$24.5 billion (US$3.15 billion) in an initial public offering in Hong Kong. The deal involves the sale of 8.82 billion shares in the indicative price range of HK$2.43 to HK$2.78.

Zhang said the Hong Kong listing will help improve corporate governance.

CGN shares opened for subscription on Thursday, and investors can place orders until Dec. 2. Listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange is scheduled for Dec. 10.

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Ayishah Ma is a financial reporter on Greater China issues.