Sat, Jun 21, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Pressure vessel reaches Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

PLANT CONSTRUCTION Despite the objections of anti-nuclear activists, a reactor pressure vessel has arrived in Kungliao and is expected to be installed by December

STAFF WRITER

A resident of Kungliao, Taipei County, yesterday morning carries a statue of Matsu -- goddess of the sea -- to protest against the arrival of the first of two reactors for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

A nuclear reactor pressure vessel and related parts carried by the Dutch ship Happy Buccaneer left Keelung Harbor at 4:30am yesterday and arrived at a wharf for the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Kungliao, Taipei County at 7am.

The Happy Buccaneer was originally scheduled to arrive in Kungliao at 9am Thursday, but unstable weather and large waves delayed it.

The reactor pressure vessel, weighing 1,007 tonnes, is the most important component of a nuclear power plant. To protect the reactor vessel from protesters, Keelung Harbor police were sent to the wharf at 3am to stand guard as the Happy Buccaneer departed. Once out on the water, the Buccaneer was accompanied by 19 Coast Guard vessels, which monitored the passage of the ship to Kungliao.

Four fishing vessels carrying anti-nuclear activists protested the reactor vessel's delivery as the Buccaneer neared the wharf.

About 40 protesters also demonstrated on shore as the ship arrived. The number of activists was less than expected due to the delayed arrival of the nuclear components.

Activists representing the local fishing association have demanded NT$300,000 from Taipower due to the potential dangers of the presence of the power plant.

From the wharf, the reactor pressure vessel and related parts were transported to the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction site by sundown, where they will be temporarily stored in a large warehouse. The reactor pressure vessel will be inspected for safety and will be installed by the end of the year.

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