Following an automatic shutdown of the first reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Wanli District (萬里) on Friday, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday said it would be able to restart operations last night.
Chai Fu-feng (蔡富豐), the chief nuclear energy engineer of Taipower’s power generation department, said the automatic shutdown of the plant’s electricity generator and reactor was triggered by a protective device that was activated when the generator’s grounding signal showed abnormal activity at 12:25pm on Friday.
The abnormal grounding signals occurred after a blade came loose from the air damper and dropped onto the bus bar insulator between the generator and the main transformer, he added.
Chai said the incident occurred at the generator, so it did not damage the nuclear reactor and there were no safety problems such as radiation leakage.
Taipower has already solved the problem by re-securing the blade and replacing related components, he said, adding that the Atomic Energy Council at 1:41am yesterday said it was safe for the reactor to resume operations.
Since the first reactor at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District (金山) is also shut off for annual maintenance, some people had voiced concerns that the incident could affect the supply of electricity in northern parts of the nation.
Taipower estimated the peak load of electricity demand for today would be about 31.6 million kilowatts, and the company can generate about 35.84 million kilowatts, so it said there was no need to worry about insufficient power supply.
As for the estimated electricity demand for today in northern areas, which accounts for about 45 percent of the nation’s demand, Chai said an estimated electricity shortage of 1.81 kilowatts in the area will be made up by transmitting electricity generated in the south.
In responce to a question on whether the frequency of reactor trip accidents at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant was considered high, he said: “Shutdowns have occurred three times in five years, which is about average, or even a bit better than average, compared with the rest of the world.”
However, Taipower would still review its maintenance operations, he said.