ARMED police sealed off roads for more than an hour yesterday as premier Li Peng travelled to Daya Bay. But security was far more unobtrusive for this highly publicised visit than it had been when Mr Li arrived secretly in Shenzhen on Friday. There were a scattering of uniformed men with assault rifles along the 45-kilometre road from Shenzhen to Daya Bay, but nothing like Friday's huge display of force. A South China Morning Post reporter drove up to the gates of the power station without being challenged while the opening ceremony was in progress. Plain clothes security officers in a variety of unmarked cars and vans checked the winding coastal road and shortly afterwards Mr Li sped through in a black Mercedes-Benz and three-car escort, without the usual dozen or more motorcycle outriders. Mainland broadcasting stations and newspapers maintained a news blackout before the event, but most people in Shenzhen seemed aware Mr Li was opening the nuclear plant. ''Premier Li Peng is visiting it today, that's why the roads are all shut,'' said one driver stuck behind a police roadblock. The Shenzhen City authorities seem to have little intention of keeping the power station isolated from large centres of population. Building work is in progress along the entire length of the coast road, and a large tourist resort is being built at Mei Sha, approximately 20 kms from Daya Bay. Dapeng, the nearest town to Daya Bay, just 6.8 kms away, is the site of feverish construction, with a dozen large apartment blocks nearing completion. But people seemed to have little knowledge of what the nuclear power station just down the road could mean. ''It's not something that concerns us ordinary people,'' said one resident. He said he had never heard of the accident at the Chernobyl power station in 1986. ''I don't know anything about that.'' Others who had access to Hong Kong newspapers seemed better informed. ''I'm not worried at all about safety,'' said one Shenzhen shop worker. ''I read in Ming Pao that the power station met all the international safety standards, so I reckon it is safe.''