Tue, Jul 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Overheated water pump at nuclear plant fixed: AEC

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A water pump at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) overheated during a regular test on Thursday, but the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) yesterday said the problem has been fixed and denied a report that another nuclear reactor is to be restarted.

The temperature of an emergency circulation water pump of the plant’s No. 2 reactor reached the warning threshold of 120°C and broke down, the council said in a press release on Thursday.

The reactor has been offline for repairs since May 16 last year, when its lightning protection devices were damaged and caused its main electricity generator to break down, AEC Department of Nuclear Regulation Director-General Chang Shin (張欣) said.

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), which operates the plant, has been conducting monthly tests since then, and the overheating occurred during the testing of an emergency diesel generator, the council said.

Chang said the pump was fixed on Sunday night and denied media reports that the tests were conducted in preparation for the reactor’s restart.

“If Taipower submits any applications to restart the reactor, the council will review the application and conduct a field examination,” the council said. “The council will report to the Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee before approving any applications for restarting the reactor.”

Taiwan Environmental Radiation Survey convener Lin Jui-chu (林瑞珠) said that Taipower has been planning to restart the reactor, as well as two other reactors at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), citing electricity shortages in the summer.

“The reactors should never be restarted because their equipment is old,” Lin said. “Any incidents [at the two plants] are not accidental.”

The nation does not have a power shortage, but it lacks good management of electricity distribution and energy policies, she said, adding that the government should work to promote “smart” electricity meters that can help coordinate electricity consumption at peak times, as well as the installation of solar panels on rooftops.

“They are choosing to build solar power panels on fertile farmland, which is basically ruining the nation’s agriculture,” she said, adding that the Democratic Progressive Party has become numb to their calls.

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