State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday said it would file an application with the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) to restart the second reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) by the end of the day.
Repair work on the No. 2 reactor at the plant was completed in December last year, Taipower spokesman Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華) said.
If the reactor is allowed to restart, the plant would add about 985,000 kilowatts to the electricity supply, boosting by 3 percent Taipower’s operating power reserve margin — the percentage of capacity available to the power grid that can be quickly called upon, Hsu said.
The reactor’s reactivation would help Taipower achieve the Cabinet’s goal of increasing the operating reserve margin to 6.8 percent this year, he added.
Due to requests by several government agencies to lower carbon emissions as air quality deteriorates nationwide, Taipower has cut coal consumption at the Taichung Power Plant by 20 percent, while coal use has also been reduced at a plant in Kaohsiung.
In addition, the operation of two generators at Formosa Plastics Group’s (台塑集團) coal-fired power station in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮) has also been suspended over air pollution concerns.
Requests for lower carbon emissions are expected to reduce the nation’s power supply by 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours, Taipower said.
The reactor had since the middle of 2016 been under repair due to a short circuit caused by problematic lightning conductors, the AEC said, adding that it needs at least one month to process Taipower’s application to restart the reactor and hold a hearing in the Legislative Yuan, which is to ultimately decide the matter.
The reactor is licensed to operate until 2023, and the reactivation request would be submitted following standard procedures, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
He disputed media reports alleging that the reactivation was to ease power supply constraints, saying that the supply is stable in winter.
The operating reserve has remained above 6 percent this winter and has even risen as high as 9 percent, Hsu Kuo-yung said.
While it is preferable to keep the operating reserve above 10 percent, Taipower has scheduled maintenance for a number of power plants in winter so they could become operational in summer when power demand peaks, he said.
“The nuclear-free homeland policy is in no way modified. The plan to phase out nuclear power by 2025 remains unchanged and all three active nuclear power plants will be decommissioned by 2025,” he said. “The idea that the nuclear-free policy is compromised is a misinterpretation.”
Additional reporting by Chen Wei-han
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same