The first reactor at the yet-to-be-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), will begin commercial operation no later than 2015, Taipower vice president Hsu Hwai-chiung (徐懷瓊) said.
Hsu’s statement came after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Thursday outlined his administration’s new energy policy in which he said safety would be paramount in dealing with commercial operations at the power plant, which has had its completion date repeatedly postponed.
Hsu said Taipower had incorporated improvements to the project, such as an emergency diesel generator facility, after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant crisis in Japan, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami that crippled the facility on March 11.
In line with Ma’s instructions, Hsu said, Taipower would adopt the strictest possible safety standards in handling the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant’s testing and supervisory work.
“We will invite international professional organizations, such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators, to assist with oversight and the plant will go online only once optimal safety is guaranteed,” Hsu said.
In addition to Taipower’s internal controls, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) have also closely monitored the construction of the plant to ensure safety standards are met, Minster of Economic Affairs Shih Yen--shiang (施顏祥) said.
Ma on Thursday said the scheduled 40-year service life of Taipower’s three existing nuclear plants — the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shihmen District (石門), New Taipei City, Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District (萬里), New Taipei City and the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Ma-anshan (馬鞍山), Pingtung County — would not be extended.
He also said that the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant could go offline early if the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is operating properly before 2016.
Asked his view on Ma’s promise, Shih said any early decommissioning of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant would hinge on the smooth operation of the fourth plant and the opinion of the AEC.
The two units at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2018 and 2019, with the two units at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant closing in 2021 and 2023, and the two at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in 2024 and 2025.