Wed, Mar 21, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet, Taipower rebuked over nuclear plant

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) for the problem-ridden Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), demanding that the government conduct a thorough investigation into the project due to concerns over its safety.

Control Yuan members said the decision to halt construction of the power plant in 2000 had caused serious delays to the project and that it led to unnecessary losses estimated at NT$187 billion (US$6.33 billion).

The Executive Yuan was charged with dereliction of duty for making the hasty decision to halt the construction with a total disregard of the consequences.

The then-Democratic Progressive Party government halted construction at the plant when it was 33.8 percent complete, plunging the country into political turmoil until the project was resumed after a suspension of 110 days.

Control Yuan members charged the ministry, the regulatory agency of the project, with failing to be receptive to views offered by construction professionals and electricity experts during the decisionmaking process.

Taipower, the operator of the nuclear power plant, was found to have failed to follow regular practices when terminating contracts with contractors.

Control Yuan members said the management at Taipower pandered to the government by telling contractors that their contracts had been terminated for an indefinite period the day the Executive Yuan decided to halt the project without calling an emergency board meeting.

Taipower did not even wait for the arrival of a government document terminating the contracts, the government watchdog said, adding the state-owned utility had ignored the interests of its shareholders and those of the public in the case.

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