Tue, Nov 01, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Fourth Nuclear Power Plant set to go online in 2017

NO LEAKS HERE:The AEC reported that of the 99,307 barrels of radioactive waste on Orchid Island inspected, 380 were OK, 33,308 were rusty and 66,410 deformed

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Commercial operation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is undergoing fine-tuning, but it will go online no later than 2017, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday.

It has been decided that the service life of the three nuclear power plants already operating will not be extended, Shih said, but whether the first plant would be decommissioned earlier than planned would depend on commercial operations at the fourth power plant and the stability of electricity supply from Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), which operates the nuclear plants.

Chen said the fourth plant would start commercial operations after fuel filling and test runs, and only after safety approval had been granted by the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) and international nuclear safety organizations.

In related news, the council yesterday presented its latest inspection report on the radioactive waste stored on Orchid Island (蘭嶼).

Liu Chih-tien (劉志添), a technical specialist with the council’s Fuel Cycle and Materials Administration (FCMA), said that as of September, a total of 99,307 barrels containing radioactive waste were inspected, with 380 in good condition, 33,308 rusty, 66,410 deformed, and 1,209 in mal--solidification, adding that the barrels were repainted, repacked, or re-solidified into new containers, and monitoring results showed that radiation had not been released into the environment.

FCMA director Chiou Syh-tsong (邱賜聰) said that based on the latest report, the inspection process would be completed once the remaining 570 mal--solidified barrels were re-solidified. Taipower expects to finish the job before the end of this year.

The council said results from five monitoring stations on the island all showed that radiation detected was within the range of natural radiation background variation (0.027 to 0.041 microsievert per hour).

As for Taipower’s construction of nuclear spent fuel dry storage facilities in Shihmen District (石門), New Taipei City (新北市) to hold excess spent fuel that could no longer be accommodated in the water storage tanks at the First Nuclear Power Plant, FCMA technical specialist Tang Ta-wei (唐大維) said that if the safety inspections were approved by the council, the dry storage facilities are expected to be completed by April 2013.

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