Sat, Jul 13, 2019 - Page 2 News List

AEC approves Taipower’s Jinshan decommission plan

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Power Co

The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) yesterday issued a permit to state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to decommission the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant over a 25-year period, council official Kao Pin (高斌) said, adding that storage of used fuel rods remains a major challenge.

Built in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門) in the 1970s, Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant, it has two reactors with an installed capacity of 636 megawatts each, information on Taipower’s Web site showed.

The 40-year operation permit for the plant’s No. 1 reactor expired on Dec. 5 last year, but it has not operated since 2014 due to a problem with reactor components, Kao said.

The 40-year permit for its No. 2 reactor is to expire on Monday, although it, too, has not been in operation since a power transmission tower collapsed due to heavy rain in June 2017, he said.

After Taipower’s decommissioning plan last week obtained environmental impact assessment approval from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the council yesterday issued the permit, which is to take effect on Tuesday, he said.

The utility is required to finish decommissioning the plant within 25 years, while its priority is to remove 816 used fuel rods from the two reactors, he said.

The plant’s two pools for spent fuel rods have a capacity of 3,083 fuel rods each and currently contain 3,074 and 3,076 rods from the two reactors, he said.

Although the utility has built a dry-storage site for spent rods, the New Taipei City Government has been reluctant to issue a water and soil conservation permit for it, one of the sticking points in the EIA process.

Taipower has to obtain the water and soil conservation permit, otherwise it would not be able to remove the fuel rods from the reactors, Kao said.

Operating permits for the two reactors at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) are to expire on Dec. 27, 2021, and March 14, 2023.

The utility’s proposal for decommissioning the Guosheng plant’s reactors is being reviewed by the council and the EPA, Kao said.

The nation’s nuclear energy is generated by four reactors at the Guosheng plant and the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County, making up about 11.6 percent of the national total, Taipower’s Web site showed.

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