Commercial operation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is undergoing fine-tuning, but it will go online no later than 2017, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday.
It has been decided that the service life of the three nuclear power plants already operating will not be extended, Shih said, but whether the first plant would be decommissioned earlier than planned would depend on commercial operations at the fourth power plant and the stability of electricity supply from Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), which operates the nuclear plants.
Chen said the fourth plant would start commercial operations after fuel filling and test runs, and only after safety approval had been granted by the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) and international nuclear safety organizations.
In related news, the council yesterday presented its latest inspection report on the radioactive waste stored on Orchid Island (蘭嶼).
Liu Chih-tien (劉志添), a technical specialist with the council’s Fuel Cycle and Materials Administration (FCMA), said that as of September, a total of 99,307 barrels containing radioactive waste were inspected, with 380 in good condition, 33,308 rusty, 66,410 deformed, and 1,209 in mal--solidification, adding that the barrels were repainted, repacked, or re-solidified into new containers, and monitoring results showed that radiation had not been released into the environment.
FCMA director Chiou Syh-tsong (邱賜聰) said that based on the latest report, the inspection process would be completed once the remaining 570 mal--solidified barrels were re-solidified. Taipower expects to finish the job before the end of this year.
The council said results from five monitoring stations on the island all showed that radiation detected was within the range of natural radiation background variation (0.027 to 0.041 microsievert per hour).
As for Taipower’s construction of nuclear spent fuel dry storage facilities in Shihmen District (石門), New Taipei City (新北市) to hold excess spent fuel that could no longer be accommodated in the water storage tanks at the First Nuclear Power Plant, FCMA technical specialist Tang Ta-wei (唐大維) said that if the safety inspections were approved by the council, the dry storage facilities are expected to be completed by April 2013.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from