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No. 1 nuclear plant's reactor to resume operations at midnight

2016/12/18 21:37:00

No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) State-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, 台電) said Sunday that the second reactor at its No. 1 nuclear power plant will go back on line at midnight after being shut down for more than a day.

The reactor was shut down early Saturday morning due to oil leaks in its cooling system, and the problem was fixed at around 1 p.m. Sunday, Taipower said.

Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (林德福) said oil leaks in a reactor's cooling system were not unusual, but the company decided to shut the reactor down and fix the problem for safety's sake.

Because the plant's first reactor has been idle since December 2014 after undergoing repairs while waiting approval from the Legislative Yuan to restart operations, the temporary shutdown of the second reactor meant that the plant stopped generating electricity altogether.

Lin said power from the No. 1 nuclear power plant will be back to normal Monday.

The No. 2 nuclear power plant, which also has two reactors, has also stopped generating power for the time being. Its first reactor has been shut down since Nov. 30 for annual maintenance and the second reactor is also idle while waiting for legislative approval to restart after being repaired in April.

The simultaneous suspension of operations at the first and second nuclear power plants left only one of Taiwan's three active nuclear power plants, the No. 3 nuclear power plant in southern Taiwan, generating power on Saturday and Sunday.

Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant was mothballed in 2014 without ever having started operations following anti-nuclear protests around Taiwan and a hunger strike by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung (林義雄).

The DPP has long advocated that the operations of Taiwan's three active nuclear power plants should not be extended and that construction of the fourth nuclear power plant should be terminated to make the country nuclear-free by 2025.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)
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