Greenpeace calls for loss assessment in case Daya Bay nuclear plant leaks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 3:57am

The government should set up a nuclear power management authority to assess potential economic loss from any radiation leak at the Daya Bay plant 50 kilometres away, a green group says.

Greenpeace made this call in a report marking the second anniversary of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant leak.

The report said victims in the area did not get the compensation they deserved because liability for the accident - caused by the massive March 11, 2011, tsunami - was not taken by those who built the facility. Victims were compensated US$8,000 for an approximately 3,200 sq ft house, an eighth of its value.

"Hongkongers are familiar with negative equity caused by the financial crisis and Sars ... It may come again if we don't have an assessment of loss," Greenpeace senior campaigner Prentice Koo Wai-muk said.

About 70 per cent of the electricity that Guangdong's Daya Bay nuclear power station produces is exported to Hong Kong.

Scholars have endorsed Greenpeace's call for an authority to assess potential loss and for a platform to be set up to develop a nuclear liability mechanism.

Dr Herman Tsui Yik-wai, the Nuclear Society's senior vice-chairman, said that although risk of the city being affected by a radiation leak was low, "the transparency of how the plant works can be improved if we can send individual experts as observers to monitor how it runs".

A Security Bureau spokesman said the government already had in place a contingency plan in the unlikely event of an accident at Daya Bay. Claims for compensation can be lodged in the mainland against the nuclear plant operator, who would have to bear liability of up to 300 million yuan (HK$370 million), he said.