The second reactor of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門) yesterday tripped after a transmission tower on a nearby hilltop toppled during torrential rain, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said, adding that it might take the unit offline.
The safety mechanism automatically shut down the reactor when it could not reliably transmit power, Taipower spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said, adding that there was no damage at the facility.
It remains uncertain when, if at all, the reactor will be restarted, Taipower said, adding that further assessment would have to wait until the weather clears.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Power Company
Power generation until June 11 should not be affected by the reactor shutdown, it said.
The second reactor was running at 75 percent capacity at the time of the incident and had been scheduled to remain at that level until June 10 or June 11, when its fuel was expected to run out, Taipower said.
Taipower is considering halting operations at the reactor, as it would be unable to continue after June 10 or June 11 due to its spent fuel pool reaching maximum capacity, Lin said.
The Atomic Energy Council said it dispatched a team to the power plant and ascertained that all equipment was functioning normally, and that fuel rods were fully inserted into the reactor.
The reactor has safely suspended operations and there is no fear of radiation leakage, the council added.
The team is to remain on site to ensure that all operations at the power plant are in order, the council said, adding that it would require Taipower to submit a report on the cause of the incident and preventive measures that could be employed.
Of the six reactors in three operational nuclear power plants nationwide, only the first reactor at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County’s Ma-anshan (馬鞍山) remains in use.
The first reactor of the Jinshan facility has been under repair since 2014, but could be reconnected to the power grid by the middle of this month, Taipower said, adding that both reactors at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) were shut down due to fractured bolts discovered in the first reactor in 2011 and the second reactor in 2012.
The second reactor of the Ma-anshan facility is also offline for repairs, but could be reconnected to the nation’s power grid by the middle of this month if a request to swap out damaged parts is approved by the council, Taipower said.
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