The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said the government has proposed a three-year plan for sealing up a reactor at the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant until a national referendum is held to decide whether fuel rods should be inserted into the power plant’s reactor.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) has budgeted an initial cost of NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million) to NT$1.3 billion next year for sealing the No. 1 reactor of the power plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), the ministry said.
“The ministry expects a national referendum on the power plant issue to be held in two to three years,” local cable TV network UBN quoted Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍) as saying. “If no such referendum is held in the next three years, then the ministry would then decide how to proceed to the next stage.”
On Wednesday, the ministry announced at a press conference that the power plant had passed a review of the 126 systems in the No. 1 reactor.
The checks were carried out by a special safety inspection team from April last year to July 25 this year, the ministry said.
At the press conference, Taipower chairman Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said the total cost of sealing the No. 1 reactor from next year through 2017 would be less than NT$2 billion.
The ministry plans to deliver the plan to seal the reactor and a report on the safety checks to the Atomic Energy Council by the end of this month and the end of next month respectively.
The nuclear power plant is nearly completed, but the fuel rods have not been installed due to widespread public opposition to its use.
The ministry said all safety inspections would need to be conducted again if the public in the future decides to turn on the No. 1 reactor at the plant.
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