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June 4, 2014

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Home » Metro » Environment

Substations no threat to public, official says

WHEN it comes to radiation risk levels, relaxing at home with a few electrical appliances switched on is more dangerous than living beside a substation, an environmental official said yesterday.

“The substations built in residential areas pose no threat to the public,” Zhang Yi, an engineer at the radiation monitoring center of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, told Shanghai Daily.

Zhang was speaking after showing representatives from residential communities in Putuo District around some of the substations in their neighborhood. The public relations exercise was staged ahead of International Environment Day, which falls today.

“Electric substations are properly built, with their core structures wrapped in iron sheeting,” Zhang said.

“People who work in them for hours at a time don’t wear protective clothing or take any special measures. So there is no danger to people living nearby,” he said.

In the past, the public has expressed concern about the safety of living close to substations.

Construction of the Hongyang substation in Yangpu District was delayed for seven years after locals complained about it. To appease them, the structure was eventually built underground.

But people have no reason to worry, Zhang said.

“Before any substation is built we conduct a series of strict evaluations, such as measuring the strength of the magnetic and electric fields in the surrounding areas,” she said, adding that the levels at Shanghai’s substations are far below the national standard.

Nevertheless, in an effort to allay people’s fears, the monitoring center will in future cooperate with district governments on the construction of substations, especially those located in residential areas, according to Zhang.

“We will build them inside small buildings or surround them with greenery so that they are less noticeable,” she said.

The national standard for the intensity of electric fields and magnetic induction is 4,000 volts per meter and 100, respectively. In a monitoring exercise on Tuesday at the Wanhang Electric Substation on Changning Road, detectors showed that the intensity of the electric field was about 0.5 volts per meter, while the intensity of magnetization was 0.1.


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