Anti-nuclear power groups yesterday filed a lawsuit against Ministry of Economic Affairs Minister Lee Chih-kung (李世光) over the government’s proposed reactivation of the No. 1 reactor of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shimen District (石門), which they said would endanger the public.
The groups are suing Lee because he endorsed a plan to restart the reactor that the activists describe as the world’s “most dangerous.”
“The Jinshan plant’s No. 1 reactor is the most dangerous reactor in the world. Fuel rods inside the reactor cannot be removed and maintenance cannot be conducted. This situation cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Reactivation might constitute a crime because it exposes the public to the risk of radiation leaks,” Green Consumers’ Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) said.
Lee on Friday said that while the nation plans to go nuclear free by 2025, nuclear power is still needed at the moment, and Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower) plan to start a rotational operation scheme at the Jinshan plant to avoid early decommissioning is a necessary measure in the face of a power shortage crisis.
The groups also filed a lawsuit against Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星), who said that the council would review Taipower’s plan.
According to the Nuclear Reactor Facilities Regulation Act (核子反應器設施管制法), when the operation of a nuclear reactor has been suspended for more than one year, it is deemed a permanent cessation of operations if the suspension has not been approved by relevant authorities, Fan said.
The 38-year-old reactor has been out of operation for 17 months and it remains unknown whether it can function properly or whether Taipower has received approval for the suspension from the AEC, he said.
The reactor has been shut down since December 2014 due to a loose handle discovered on a fuel rod cask.
“No government should reactivate such an old and dangerous nuclear plant, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who was elected on a promise to phase out nuclear power by 2025, has not permanently shut down the reactor, but intends to restart it, making her a liar,” anti-nuclear power campaigner Lin Jui-chu (林瑞珠) said.
“The nation is not short of electricity, Taipower does not properly manage its plants and allows many to go offline during peak times so the public is under the impression that Taiwan would face power shortages if nuclear plants were decommissioned. The new government is allowing the situation to continue and is ready to reactivate the reactor, which would be an act of mass indiscriminate killing,” Fan said.
“Taiwan’s overall power generation capacity is 48,000 megawatts, but the actual output is about 35,000 megawatts. The government should run the nation’s power plants in a coordinated manner so that the nation can do without nuclear power,” Taiwan Environmental Protection Union secretary-general Chen Bing-heng (陳秉亨) said.
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