Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Convoy carrying unused fuel rods arrives in Keelung

Staff writer, with CNA

A convoy of 12 vehicles believed to be carrying a second batch of unused fuel rod bundles purchased for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) were seen arriving at a pier in Keelung Port at about 1am yesterday.

Although state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) declined to confirm or deny reports, the convoy was escorted by more than 200 police officers and 100 police cars after it left the plant at midnight.

The rod bundles are expected to be loaded onto a ship in Keelung and returned to the US later this month.

If confirmed, it would be the second shipment of unused fuel rods to be returned to the US after a batch of 80 bundles was reportedly shipped from Keelung Port on July 4.

Taipower plans to send the 1,744 fuel rod bundles from the mothballed plant back to the US in installments.

The dismantling and shipping process has been estimated to cost the government about NT$690 million (US$22.4 million), but removing the rods could save about NT$140 million in annual maintenance costs, Taipower said.

The plant was mothballed in April 2014 amid growing public concern over the use of nuclear energy.

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