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Power supply alert issued after breakdown at power plant

2017/01/24 13:37:05

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) Taiwan's power supply system flashed an orange alert Tuesday due to a breakdown at the country's third nuclear power plant in Hengchun in Pingtung County, according to state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).

A malfunction of a cooling water pump of the nuclear power plant's first reactor at 6:26 a.m. led to a shutdown of the reactor, causing a disruption of the country's electricity supply, Taipower said.

Electricity supply in Taiwan was limited on Tuesday to a maximum of only 28.62 gigawatts while consumption was expected to hit a high of 27.35 GW, resulting in an orange power supply alert, Taipower said.

Taipower uses a five-color system to indicate the status of power reserves and the stability of the power supply.

"Green" indicates an operating reserve of above 10 percent of total supply, "yellow" signals a reserve of between 6 percent and 10 percent of supply, and "orange" shows a reserve of less than 6 percent of supply.

A red light flashes when reserve capacity falls below 900,000 kilowatts (KW) and a black light flashes when reserve capacity falls under 500,000 KW, the point at which Taipower prepares for power rationing.

The plant is currently repairing the cooling water pump, and Taipower has notified the Atomic Energy Council and the local government of the situation, the company said.

It has also suspended all unnecessary tests on other nuclear power plant units for that day to focus on measures to ensure sufficient power supply.

(By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)
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