Fri, Mar 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear safety review to be completed next month

Staff Writer, with CNA

A second-phase safety review of the nation’s three operating nuclear power plants is likely to be completed early next month, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said yesterday.

As soon as it is completed, a final report will be submitted to the Cabinet, AEC Deputy Minister Chou Yuan-ching (周源卿) told a public hearing held by legislators, adding that the AEC would continue to follow up on the safety status of the plants on a regular basis.

He said the three nuclear power plants have undergone stress tests based on EU standards, a report which is expected to be published within a couple of months.

Stress tests are also to be conducted at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), which is still under construction, he said. The plant will not obtain a license to install nuclear fuel rods until it meets all 19 requirements set by the AEC, he added.

The hearing was held ahead of the first anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that led to a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, sparking global concern over nuclear safety.

To mark the anniversary, environmental groups in Taiwan are set to hold a march in Taipei on March 11 to voice their opposition to nuclear power.

As a warm-up to the event, the groups staged demonstrations at entrances to the Executive Yuan, the Control Yuan and the legislature yesterday, demanding that the government abandon nuclear power immediately.

Among the protesters was Kao Cheng-yan (高成炎), a professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics.

Kao speculated that at least 1 million people would lose their lives in the event of an accident at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shihmen District (石門), New Taipei City (新北市), or the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli (萬里), New Taipei City, both of which are a little more than 20km from Taipei.

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