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15 June 2010

CLP clarifies erroneous report on the 23 May incident at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station

CLP issues the following statement in response to media enquiries about comments made by Mr Richard Lancaster this afternoon:

CLP emphasises that the news report released by Radio Free Asia last night was erroneous.

The incident that occurred in the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station on 23 May is a minor operational incident with no impact on public safety, public health and the environment.

There has been no leakage of radioactivity from the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station arising from the 23 May event. The reactor cooling water is enclosed completely by another two layers of containment and isolated from the external environment, thus preventing any impact to the public. The use of a three-layer containment design, comprising the fuel rod, a 200-millimeter steel casing and a 0.9-meter thick reinforced concrete structure, is a common international practice for modern nuclear power stations.

There are many levels of safeguards to ensure secure operations at Daya Bay. In addition, there are robust and vigorous national and international requirements for the monitoring, reporting and disclosure of nuclear-related incidents. The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) reporting system rates nuclear-related events on a scale of 0 to 7. The INES is used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a worldwide tool to consistently communicate to the public the significance of nuclear and radiation-related events. The 23 May event, however, is not significant enough to be classified as an INES event.

On 23 May 2010, a small increase in radioactivity (radioactive iodine and noble gases) was observed in the reactor cooling water at Unit 2 of Daya Bay. The level of radioactivity has stabilised over the last two weeks since then, without material change.

Given how small the increase in radioactivity observed in the reactor cooling water was, operations at Daya Bay have not been affected. The situation was too minor to be rated on the International Nuclear Event Scale, so there was no need for reporting. Though the incident was not considered to have any safety implications, the power station nevertheless reported the situation to the PRC National Nuclear Safety Administration and the Daya Bay Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee proactively and voluntarily.

An investigation into the incident is in progress. The preliminary assessment indicates that there is an imperfect sealing of a fuel rod in the reactor core of Unit 2. The fuel rods are made in France.

The investigation findings will be shared with the Hong Kong Government and the Daya Bay Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee in line with normal processes.

About CLP

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited is the largest electric utility in Hong Kong serving the business and domestic community in Kowloon, the New Territories, Lantau and most of the outlying islands. Operating a vertically integrated electricity generation, transmission and distribution business, CLP Power provides a highly reliable supply of electricity and excellent customer services to over 5.7 million people in its supply area.

Outside Hong Kong, CLP Holdings also invests in energy businesses in Mainland China, Australia, India and Southeast Asia. It is the largest external investor in the Chinese mainland electricity industry, and a leading international private sector power company in the Asia Pacific region with a diversified portfolio of power generation from gas, coal, renewables and nuclear.

CLP is listed in the Global Dow – a 150-stock index of the world's leading blue-chips, the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index (DJSI Asia Pacific), and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific 40 Index (DJSI Asia Pacific 40).

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Media Contact:

Justin Lui
Public Affairs Resources Manager
CLP Power Hong Kong Limited
Tel:(852) 2678 8483
Pager:(852) 7116 3131 A/C 3388