The No. 1 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) is to be shut down today after producing power for 40 years, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday.
The generator’s 40-year operating permit expires at the end of this year, but as the facility’s spent fuel storage is full, the 985 megawatt reactor would be shut down earlier in preparation for a major overhaul of the facility, the utility said.
Due to the shortage in storage space, Taipower reduced the plant’s power generation capacity by about 20 percent since late February.
Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times
The overhaul is expected to take six months and decommissioning of the No. 1 reactor would begin thereafter, Taipower said.
The plant’s second reactor is scheduled to operate until March 2023 when its operating permit expires, it said.
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is committed to phasing out nuclear power generation by 2025 and replacing it with renewable sources of energy. It aims at an energy mix of 20 percent energy production from renewable sources, 50 percent from liquefied natural gas and 30 percent from coal.
Nuclear power accounted for about 11.2 percent of the nation’s energy production last year, down from a peak of 16 to 19 percent.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that other energy sources, including natural gas, and solar and hydro power, would in the short term make up for the energy produced by the No. 1 reactor at the Guosheng plant.
Taipower first proposed the reactor’s decommissioning three years ago, gaining approval from the Atomic Energy Commission in October last year.
The plan included the construction of a dry storage facility for used fuel.
However, the establishment of the facility might be delayed by a dispute between the New Taipei City Government and Taipower.
New Taipei City has yet to issue a permit for the storage of the reactor’s fuel rods, as it is opposed to a permanent spent fuel storage facility within its jurisdiction.
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