24 April 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan

  • » 07/08/2008, 00.00


    Radioactive waste in earthquake zone, Chinese censorship suppresses the news

    The earthquake last May 12 in Sichuan damaged the most important Chinese nuclear dump, but the authorities continue to conceal the true extent of the incident. Local sources affirm that the site is still contained, but there are fears of risks to the environment.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Two months after the earthquake that shook Sichuan, the most important radioactive dump in southwest China is still closed, while government authorities refuse to provide details on the true damage to the site and on possible leaks of hazardous material.

    Li Ganjie, deputy minister for environmental protection, does not conceal the possible risks connected to the leak of radioactive material, but the authorities continue to maintain absolute silence over the event. Like all Chinese military units, factory 821 in Sandui, a city in the prefecture of Guangyuan, is identified by a numeric code. The plant suffered serious damage in the earthquake; witnesses recount the frantic operations in the surrounding area, and even the deputy general manager of the China National Nuclear Corporation (which controls the civilian nuclear development programme in the country) travelled from Beijing to Sichuan to review the situation in person.

    A spokesman for the company continues to repeat that "everything is under control, and there is no danger", but some witnesses involved in the emergency operations tell a completely different story. "The factory is still paralysed. Many buildings have collapsed. Some people have died. Beyond that, I am not allowed to reveal anything because it involves national military secrets".

    Li Ganjie stresses that careful controls for the nuclear sites in the areas struck by the earthquake have been provided, but he does not conceal "worries" over "the safety of the facilities and the disposal of radioactive waste". Many of the facilities were built before 1980, and do not comply with the current antiseismic standards. The plant in Sandui was built in the late 1960's, and employs more than 600 engineers and 4,000 workers. Since 2005, it has been the most important nuclear waste dump in the country, and one of the main centres for the waste from Chinese nuclear experiments.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    17/07/2007 JAPAN
    Earthquake: fears of a fresh radioactive leak
    Environmental alarm for the possibility of a fresh leak from the Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant. In the meantime the official death toll rises to 9 dead and 900 injured.

    26/08/2013 JAPAN
    Fukushima, government charges Tepco with mismanagement of radioactive water
    The Nuclear Regulation Authority blames system security management: "Failure to properly inspect the contaminated water deposits which leaked into the sea."

    31/10/2011 LIBYA
    Gaddafi’s nuclear weapons are a canard
    Sources tell AsiaNews that the nuclear weapons rebels claim to have found are only nuclear material and waste from Gaddafi’s nuclear programme. Despite their potential danger, the old regime did not have the means to build nuclear weapons. NATO announces the end of its mission in Libya.

    31/05/2008 CHINA
    15 million displaced people threatened by nuclear contamination
    Civilian and military nuclear plants are believed to be in the area. Now the dangerous material is being removed urgently. But the dangers for the displaced are many and unpredictable: one chemical plant has released gas, forcing 800 people to flee.

    07/12/2016 13:23:00 JAPAN
    Fukushima: fish and shellfish no longer radioactive

    Over the past five and a half years, the Fukushima fisheries experimental station analysed fish and shellfish samples. For the first time in years, radioactive cesium levels are within the safety limit.

    Editor's choices

    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.

    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®