No radiation leaks in China’s quake zone: Official

May 23rd, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 23 (Xinhua) No radiation leaks have been detected in the nuclear facilities in southwest China’s quake-hit zone, but 15 radiation “sources” are still inaccessible, the government said Friday. “We did not find any radioactive substance leaks into the environment,” Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister in the environmental protection ministry, told reporters.

Expert teams sent by the ministry and local environment departments immediately after the quake had thoroughly examined all nuclear facilities in the province, he said.

Investigators had identified 50 radiation “sources” and moved 35 of them to safe areas, Wu said.

Three of the 15 remaining sources were buried under rubble while the other 12 were in dangerous buildings that technicians could not yet enter, he said.

“At the sites, technicians did not detect any leak,” he said.

The ministry has asked all organisation that hold radioactive material to tighten self-monitoring and update reports to environmental authorities, Wu said.

The minister also said a large number of chemical factories located in the quake-hit region in Sichuan pose potential environmental threats, but no serious accidents have happened yet.

The environmental monitoring network in the quake zone has been extensively damaged in the quake, Wu said, and added that “it will be a tough task to maintain and supervise the local environment in the near future.”

The latest figures the ministry received showed that more than 6,200 monitoring devices, 72 automatic monitoring stations for air and water quality and 934 environmental remediation facilities were damaged in the quake.

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