Sun, Dec 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Energy council approves Guosheng reactor restart

Staff writer, with CNA

The No. 1 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District (萬里), New Taipei City, is expected to be restarted soon following annual maintenance, the Atomic Energy Council said on Friday.

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) submitted an application on Nov. 13 to restart the reactor after it was taken offline on Oct. 11, the council said.

It failed an initial inspection after leaks were found in the reactor building’s ceiling.

Taipower on Nov. 23 filed a report with the council that explained the cause of the leaks and detailed repairs to resolve the issue.

The council on Friday approved the restart after receiving a final safety assessment from its inspectors, although it has not confirmed a date.

Work was last done on the Guosheng plant on June 7, when its No. 2 reactor was taken offline for a brief safety check. Operations resumed within a day.

The June inspection was scheduled because the vibration calibration of the reactor’s side bearings needed to be adjusted, Taipower said at the time.

When operating at full capacity, the reactor generates about 985,000 kilowatts of power, or 2.7 percent of the nation’s operating reserve margin — the percentage of generating capacity available to the power grid that can be called upon within a short period of time.

Friday’s approval was given less than a week after a referendum passed calling for the abolishment of a law requiring all of Taiwan’s nuclear power plants to cease operations by 2025.

The referendum was seen as a rebuke of the government’s energy policy, which emphasizes creating a nuclear-free homeland by 2025.

The nation has three operational nuclear power plants, which each have two reactors.

Only the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Ma-anshan (馬鞍山), Pingtung County, has both of its reactors operating at full capacity.

The Guosheng plant’s No. 2 reactor is operating at 67 percent.

Both reactors at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shihmen District (石門), New Taipei City, are idle and are unlikely to be restarted before they are decommissioned next year.

Nuclear power, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of the electricity generated in Taiwan in the first half of this decade, contributed only 9.3 percent to the nation’s power needs last year.

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