Sat, Mar 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers ask premier to report on reactor incident

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday block proceedings by occupying the speaker’s podium during a protest in the legislative chamber in Taipei against an emergency shutdown of the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant during testing on Wednesday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday agreed after a round of negotiations to ask Premier William Lai (賴清德) to deliver an oral report at the legislature in Taipei on May 10 about Wednesday’s shutdown of the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里).

Shortly after a legislative meeting began, members of the KMT caucus flocked to and occupied a podium where Lai was scheduled to answer questions from lawmakers.

They vowed to obstruct the proceedings until Lai agrees to give a report on Wednesday’s incident.

They criticized the DPP administration for allowing the incident to happen, its “failing” energy policy and its plan to hike electricity prices next month.

The incident is believed to have been caused by the sensitivity of a steam valve in the reactor being set too high, prompting the unit to trip after rising pressure triggered the safety mechanism.

Lai and several members of the KMT and DPP caucuses later held closed-door negotiations on how the government should respond to the incident.

In the afternoon, KMT lawmakers agreed to disperse to allow the question-and-answer session to proceed.

During the session, Lai confirmed that the caucuses had made an arrangement for him to brief lawmakers on May 10 about the incident.

Asked by KMT Legislator Yosi Takun (孔文吉) whether the incident was indicative of negligence on the part of state-run Taiwan Power Co and the Atomic Energy Council, Lai said the two agencies must be more careful when dealing with nuclear reactors.

Prior to the meeting, the premier told reporters that the government would make safety its top priority, respect professional decisions and follow standard operating procedure in its effort to bring the reactor back online.

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