Thu, Apr 15, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Fourth nuclear plant unlikely to open by Oct. 10 next year

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday that the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was unlikely to begin operations by Double Ten National Day next year.

The company had originally planned to open the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant by Dec. 15 next year, but press reports last week said the Executive Yuan hoped that the power plant could begin operations on Oct. 10, two months before the original date, to commemorate the Republic of China’s 100th anniversary.

“Based on our work schedule, we can’t make it before Oct. 10,” Taipower chairman Edward Chen (陳貴明) said while answering questions from Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲).

Chen, along with Atomic Energy Council Minister Tsai Chuen-horng (蔡春鴻), were briefing lawmakers on the Legislature’s Education and Culture Committee about the possibility of opening the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant earlier than planned.

Chen and Tsai denied that they had received orders from Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to make sure the power plant was functional by Oct. 10 next year.

Tsai said in his presentation that it was already a challenge for the plant to become operational by Dec.15 next year.

The legislators asked Chen whether the premier had gotten the wrong impression about the progress of the plant, whose construction has been halted three times since 2000. They said the company should not compromise the safety of the nuclear power plant by following the orders of their supervisors.

“When the premier discussed this matter with officials, he simply said that it would be good if a low-carbon facility such as the plant could begin operations earlier,” Chen said.

Chen said the company still needed to overcome several challenges, including testing the newly installed distributed control and information system.

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