A “yellow” alert was unexpectedly issued for Taiwan’s electricity supply yesterday, as the No. 2 reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) went offline and overcast skies reduced solar power output.
The reactor’s outage early on Tuesday morning was not expected, but the problem has been solved and the reactor would soon start producing power again, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷舒) said yesterday, adding that it would take about three days until the unit reaches its peak capacity of 985 megawatts (MW).
The outage came as cleaning personnel in the facility’s control room accidentally nudged an acrylic cover of a steam isolation valve button while moving chairs, triggering the unit’s shutdown, Chang said.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Power Co
Taipower would rearrange the chairs to reduce the risk of the incident reoccurring and improve worker training, he said.
Despite the outage, Taipower initially said that the nation’s electricity supply would remain“green,” indicating an operating reserve ratio of above 10 percent.
However, the state-run utility later said that high electricity consumption and lower solar power generation caused the reserve ratio to drop to 8 percent during peak hours.
“Yesterday’s peak usage was the second-highest on record,” Chang said, adding that electricity consumption was 38.077 gigawatts at 4:40pm.
Apart from increased contribution from Mingtan Reservoir (明潭水庫) and the Daguan Power Plant in Nantou County, the 78MW No. 1 hydroelectric generator at Taichung’s Deji Reservoir (德基水庫) was deployed as an emergency measure, even though the reservoir was at only 55.2 percent capacity.
“Fortunately there is enough water for hydropower generation,” Chang said, adding that the utility is trying to conserve water resources.
Taiwan was in the grips of a historic water shortage ahead of seasonal plum rains and Typhoon In-Fa last week.
Taichung is the only city or county that remains under “yellow alert” water restrictions.
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