Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) chairman Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) yesterday said the company plans to submit its proposal for the last additional budget allocation for finishing the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant — the Longmen Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) — to the Legislative Yuan in June.
At Taipower’s group offering event for the arrival of the Lunar New Year yesterday, Hwang responded to media questions about the controversial issue of seeking extra funds for the ongoing construction project in the next legislative session.
He said the power plant is in its final stage of construction and has begun pre-operational tests already, and the specific additional budget and construction schedule are expected to be finalized by June.
Responding to a question about how much the estimated supplementary budget will be, Hwang said: “We have not made a final decision yet.”
Taipower has greatly improved its management of nuclear power operations and controls in the past couple of years, and will make certain that the plant is safe, he said, adding that the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) safeguards the plants’ nuclear safety, so Taipower will only move forward after gaining consent from specialists in Taiwan and overseas.
Hwang also responded to last week’s media reports about an AEC official that said that Taipower has continuously postponed the submission date of a requested report on the possible safety threats to the two current operating nuclear plants in northern Taiwan in the event of a massive earthquake.
He said Taipower has already asked geologists to look into the issue and make evaluations of the possible effects, and that the company would deal with the issue very cautiously.
In addition, Taipower will continue to improve the company’s results this year, he said, adding that it hopes the increase in electricity prices can help solve the problem of financial losses caused by the increased cost of fuel last year.