Environmentalists attending a public forum held by the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) yesterday criticized the council for what they said was its lax supervision of Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) regarding the company’s management of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門).
Taipower on April 29 initiated a coastdown of the plant’s No. 2 reactor, allowing the power level to decrease from 100 to 75 percent, without informing the council.
This has caused a scheduled overhaul of the reactor to be postponed for two weeks to the middle of next month, AEC Department of Nuclear Regulation division head Tsao Sung-nan (曹松楠) said.
The council last week set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the incident.
Yesterday’s forum was aimed at collecting opinions from non-governmental experts.
AEC Department of Nuclear Regulation head Chang Shin (張欣) quoted Taipower as saying that the coastdown was done for “distribution of electricity” resons and not out of security concerns.
“We immediately sent an official to examine the situation that day,” Chang said, adding that Taipower has submitted an evaluation report about the incident, which was posted on the council’s Web site.
However, many environmentalists at the forum doubted whether Taipower told the truth.
The coastdown might implicate a security crisis that can be described as “hitting the brake and the accelerator at the same time,” said He Li-wei (賀立維), a former researcher at the AEC Institute of Nuclear Energy Research.
“[The coastdown] has extended [the reactor’s] operation for another 15 days, but did not generate any more electricity,” He said, questioning the company’s motives.
When asked how Taipower could initiate the coastdown without informing the council, Chang said “the regulations [about coastdowns] might not be clear.”
The council would prepare and publish an additional explanation to Article 10 of the Enforcement Rules for the Implementation of the Nuclear Reactor Facilities Regulation Act (核子反應器設施管制法施行細則), Chang added.
Most of the information in Taipower’s evaluation report has been omitted due to the company’s confidentiality claims, Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) said.
Chang said the committee has access to the full version of the report.
The council would ask Taipower to consider whether it can reveal more information to the public, she added.
“All opinions collected today will be delivered to the investigation committee,” Chang said.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease