Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Periodic nuclear facility checks are needed expert says

Staff writer, with CNA

The former chairman of France’s independent agency on regulating nuclear safety said yesterday that Taiwan is applying some of the safety measures France has launched since Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear crisis in 2011.

Speaking at a forum in Taipei on nuclear safety, Andre-Claude Lacoste, who stepped down as Nuclear Safety Authority chairman last year, said France has been introducing a series of measures to raise nuclear power safety standards, such as more extensive assessments of nuclear facilities.

Through a close bilateral partnership, he said, Taiwan has applied two out of the 800 new safety requirements France has outlined in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

The measures include the installation of an emergency cooling water supply and an additional electricity generator for each of Taiwan’s nuclear reactors, Lacoste said.

“A continuous improvement process is necessary, in addition to periodic checks on nuclear facilities,” he said.

Lacoste’s visit comes amid increasingly heated debate in recent weeks on whether the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) should begin operating. He was set to conclude his visit today.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) recently said that he will propose a referendum on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, while President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) pledged that the plant would not begin operating before the most rigid of safety standards have been met.

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