Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 4 News List

AEC says that it's doing a good job with nuclear plants

CNA , TAIPEI

Whatever the result of a proposed referendum on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the main task of the Atomic Energy Council will be to monitor the safety of the plant, council Chairman Ouyang Min-sheng (歐陽敏盛) said yesterday.

Ouyang made the remarks in a report on the operations of the council to the Sci-tech and Information Committee of the Legislative Yuan.

Legislators asked how the council will deal with the result of a proposed referendum to be held next year on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

"The council will follow the result of the referendum, but will not direct that the construction of the plant be suspended or continued," Ouyang said.

Instead, Ouyang said that the council would "only monitor the safety of the nuclear power plant based on the council's expertise," adding that the construction of the plant is now 48 percent completed, slightly behind schedule.

He added that, "There are no questions about its safety," and that the council is confident about safeguarding the security of the facility.

He said that the council has increased safety controls at all nuclear power plants, adding that last year there were only four "trips," or automatic shutdowns, among the six reactors in the three nuclear power plants that are now in use, and only two trips as of the end of last month, showing that the operation of the power plants is safe.

The volume of radioactive waste from the nuclear power plants has also decreased, he said, with only 818 barrels of solid, low radioactive waste produced last year, beating the target of 1,550 barrels set by the council.

In the innovative use of nuclear technology, the council has made great strides, he said, noting that it has obtained a patent for its technology to solidify radioactive waste and has authorized the use of the technology to Hitachi of Japan, making this the first case of Taiwan exporting nuclear-power technology to a developed country.

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