Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear power plants working well: AEC

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

There are no concerns about the safety of the nation's three operating nuclear power plants, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said yesterday, citing the government's latest nuclear power plant performance report.

“Based on the council's latest safety assessments, the six reactors in the three operating nuclear plants are running well, with no safety concerns,” said Chen Yi-bin (陳宜彬), director of the council's Department of Nuclear Regulations.

The council has released its nuclear plant performance report every quarter since 2006 to try to assuage public concerns over the safety of nuclear power. The report is posted on the council's Web site.

The council's performance assessments are modeled on the same four-light signal scale used by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). A green light shows very low risk significance, white indicates low to moderate risk significance, yellow represents substantial risk significance and red shows high risk significance.

The latest report shows the six reactors received green lights in the 13 sub-indicators of the performance and inspection indicators, Chen said.

“The very low risk significance shown by the green lights means there is no cause for concern. There is no need for the public to worry about safety,” he said.

When the council first used the safety assessment scale in 2006, the three nuclear plants received white signals in two sub-indicators, but those flaws have been corrected, Chen said.

Since those improvements, the three plants have received green lights, showing that they have performed well, he said.

The council will watch the NRC's safety assessments carefully and will use them as a reference to adjust its own evaluations, if necessary, to ensure continued safety, he said.

Three nuclear plants have also made a significant contribution to the nation's efforts to reduce carbon emissions, he said. As of the end of last year, the three plants accounted for 20.7 percent of the nation’s power generation.

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