Very experienced power station engineer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 1994, 12:00am


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THE content of the two articles in the South China Morning Post on August 11, on Daya Bay, should give your readers the impression that refuelling at Daya Day is a huge operation, but under the control of the station management headed by an experienced French nuclear expert, careful ''preparation is well advanced'' to ensure safe and proper operation. Unfortunately, the headlines conveyed the opposite impression.

The articles correctly pointed out that the first refuelling of nuclear fuel at Daya Bay later this year is a ''difficult operation'' which is why the French contractor Framex ''would be in charge of the removal of the fuel rods, which was the trickiest job''.

The articles further reported that the 30 fuel handlers who will be involved ''had to be tested and approved by the plant manager''.

Deputy Station Manager, Mr Fan Heming will be in charge of the refuelling operation and will have very solid technical support from the French experts. It is precisely because the complexity involved in the refuelling process that planning for this began as early as 1991 when potential Chinese contractors were screened with the assistance from the French experts.

Mr Fan is one of the three deputy station managers at Daya Bay. Together with the other two Chinese deputy station managers (Mr Qian and Mr Huang), they are undergoing rigorous and practical preparation for eventually operating a nuclear power station.

Mr Qian is a nuclear engineer with 16 years' experience including 11/2 years working in a French power station. Mr Huang is a very experienced power station engineer who spent one year working in a nuclear power station in France while Mr Fan was among the finest coal-fired power station managers in China before he was recruited to work in Daya Bay in 1992.

Their involvement (under the supervision of the French experts) in the commissioning of the plant and the re-fuelling process are extremely valuable.

In this respect, we agree with the Hon Christine Loh that Mr Fan ''ought to be involved''. We also agree and have ensured that he is given ''sufficient support'' to make sure that ''nothing will go wrong''.

The overall safe operation of the Daya Bay nuclear power station is the responsibility of the current manager, a French nuclear expert, Mr Pierre Decaix who has a two-year contract with Daya Bay beginning in July this year with an option for an extension of another year.

Mr Decaix was previously responsible for managing the Chinon nuclear power station in France which is twice the size of Daya Bay.

Y. F. HUI General Manager Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Co. Ltd.