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Fourth nuclear power plant may open on Oct. 10 next year

2010/04/05 20:49:15

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) The state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower)said Monday that it was striving to begin operation at the fourthnuclear power plant by National Day next year.

Taipower confirmed media reports that Premier Wu Den-yih hopesthe company can move the schedule ahead two months -- from the end ofnext year to Oct. 10, the centennial of the Wuchang Uprising that ledto the downfall of China's Qing Dynasty government and the birth ofthe Republic of China.

Tu Yueh-yuan, chief engineer of Taipower, said that she is"cautiously optimistic" that the company can achieve the target,adding that it will ensure the construction of the Taipei Countyplant meets the highest safety standards.

Over 80 percent of the construction of the power plant --formally named the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant -- is complete, Tusaid, adding that the project is only a very small bit behindschedule.

Tu said that the plant would have to undergo testing by theCabinet-level Atomic Energy Council before starting commercialoperation, so that there is no need to worry about safety.

Construction of the power plant has caused strong protests fromanti-nuclear activists and residents living in the vicinity of thepower plant in Gongliao, northern Taiwan's Taipei County.

During the previous Democratic Progressive Party administration,construction was temporarily suspended in 2000 in line withthen-President Chen Shui-bian's campaign promise to create a nuclear-free Taiwan. But the suspension was lifted in early 2001 after theadministration came under pressure from the legislature and segmentsof society. A consensus was reached that the fourth nuclear plantwould be the last one.

(By Lin Shu-yuan and Fanny Liu)