THE reluctance of the Hong Kong authorities to divulge details of reported incidents at Daya Bay should be of grave concern to all. What is known is that the nuclear plant has been plagued by a number of operating problems. This much has been confirmed. What is not known is how many, their nature or whether the system for reporting such incidents is working properly. All the authorities will say is that none of the incidents is a threat to public safety or nuclear related.
If this is the case, then what do the authorities have to hide in divulging information that is of public interest? Responses to queries by this newspaper were met with stonewalling. If the incidents were not life-threatening, then surely there should be no qualms about releasing details. By withholding information, the impression is that the incidents are possibly more serious than portrayed.
It is only natural that local sensitivities have been heightened with the presence of a nuclear power plant operating only 50 kilometres from Central. Concern about the safety of Daya Bay will not be allayed by keeping vital information behind closed doors. The Hong Kong authorities should be doing everything they can to allay fears about the plant and seek the co-operation of their mainland counterparts in providing as much information about it as possible, even if incidents involved in Daya Bay's operation are not a threat to safety.
The more information that comes out of Daya Bay the better Hong Kong people will be able to make their own assessments based on facts and not fear.