The Atomic Energy Authority has admitted to a leak of radioactive water from nuclear reactor number one at the Anshas nuclear complex outside Cairo, but reassured the residents of the area that there was “zero” risk resulting from the incident, as the leaking fluid was immediately contained.
“The first reactor is 50 years old and hasn’t been operated for a year and a half,” Naguib Ashoub, director of the Department of Reactors, told reporters during an organized tour of the reactor on Thursday.
“The leak took place during the maintenance of the pump,” he explained. “The safety system was immediately switched on to isolate that unit.
“The radioactive water was contained in pipes specifically made for that purpose,” he added, confirming that no radiation was leaked out of the chamber.
Replying to a question as to why officials of the Nuclear Safety Department were denied permission to inspect the reactor, Ashoub explained that this case did not warrant an unannounced inspection. “I asked them to come again when I am present at the reactor,” he said.
He also said that officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspected the reactor the day after the leak and did not detect any radiation, pointing out that the law prohibits publishing secret information about the reactor without the prior consent of its director.
Translated from the Arabic Edition