Sat, Dec 07, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Spent fuel storage plan hits a snag

GUOSHENG POWER PLANT:The environmental impact assessment committee said Taipower has to submit more data explaining changes to its original plan

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee meeting yesterday to review the dry cask storage facility of the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Wanli District (萬里) concluded with instructions to operator Taiwan Power (Taipower) to provide more information for further review.

The interim spent fuel storage plan for the plant, also known as the second nuclear power plant, listed two types of dry storage systems — the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) high-performance system (INER-HPS) or the Hi-Storm 100 storage system — which gained approval from the EIA general assembly in 2010.

Due to later changes made to the original project plan, in which the storage cask model was changed to the modular advanced generation nuclear all-purpose storage (MAGNASTOR) system, Taipower was required to submit a comparison table explaining the alteration made to the original plan for EIA review in 2011.

An EIA meeting two years ago concluded that the modified plan must undergo a nuclear safety review by the Atomic Energy Council before it is resubmitted to the EIA committee. Taipower finally gained approval from the council in September and the plan was reviewed by the EIA committee yesterday.

According to Taipower, bidding for the project was won by NAC International and CTCI Machinery Corp, and would use the new MAGNASTOR dry storage system designed by NAC.

Taipower said the new system has been approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and can store a total of 2,349 spent fuel rods, with a total storage area 0.11 hectares smaller than in the original plan

Information from Taipower suggested that the impact to air, water, noise, waste, natural ecology, traffic, nuclear safety and other aspects would be the same or even lower than the one in the original plan.

However, a New Taipei City government official continued to question the project.

Reiterating the city government’s stance that “there should be no nuclear power if nuclear safety cannot be ensured,” Lee Chang-kui (李長奎), head of the Environmental Protection Bureau’s comprehensive planning section, said the city still has doubts about the project and does not welcome it.

EIA committee member Chang Tien-chin (張添晉) said that Taipower failed to clearly explain “necessity” and “reason” for changing the plan and providing answers to questions such as radiation reduction rate, decommissioning plans and the like.

Other committee members questioned its wastewater treatment plan and said Taipower should detail the advantages that the new system offers.

Taipower said it would guarantee that the interim spent fuel storage facility would not become the final disposal site, but this failed to satisfy the committee, which demanded that it submit more information for review.

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