Fri, Oct 06, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Reactor installed at Gongliao site

STAFF WRITER , WITH AFP

A nuclear reactor is lifted by a huge crane as it is installed yesterday at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant at Gongliao, Taipei County.

PHOTO: AFP

A second Japanese-built nuclear reactor was installed at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant yesterday.

The 780-tonne reactor, designed by General Electric and built by Toshiba, was installed at the power plant in Gongliao (貢寮), Taipei County.

"This marked a milestone in the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant," Huang Pei-shan, an official with the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), told the Agence France-Presse.

Huang said that as of the end of August the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was 58 percent complete.

Conservation groups did not show up at the construction site yesterday, but pledged to take more steps to shoot down the project.

"This project must be stopped, given safety considerations of the plant and a shortage of places to store the nuclear waste generated by the plant," said Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳), a member of the No Nuke Union Taiwan.

"We have recently filed a lawsuit against Taipower on charges of illegally setting aside budget," Ho said, referring to what he said was a broken pledge not to increase the budget when the project was first approved by the Legislative Yuan.

Ho's group plans to launch a nationwide referendum to decide on the fate of the half-complete project next year or in 2008, and also sponsor a regional anti-nuclear forum.

Since Taiwan's first nuclear plant became operational in 1987, nuclear power has generated at least 180,000 drums of low-radiation waste. Taipower had planned to ship the waste to North Korea but was forced to halt the scheme under pressure from South Korea and international conservationists.

The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant had been scheduled to come on line in July, but in 2000, the newly elected Democratic Progressive Party government scrapped the project following an election pledge made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), triggering months of political turmoil.

The government restarted the project in February 2001.

The first unit of the plant is scheduled to become commence operating in July 2009 and the second one in July 2110.

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