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Nuclear safety review near completion: AEC

2012/03/01 17:59:38

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) A second-phase safety review of Taiwan's three operating nuclear power plants is likely to be completed in early April, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) said Thursday.

As soon as it is completed, the final report will be submitted to the Cabinet, AEC Deputy Minister Chou Yuan-ching said in a public hearing held by legislators.

The AEC will continue to follow up on the safety status of theplants on a regular basis after that, Chou said.

Meanwhile, he went on, the three nuclear power plants have undergone stress tests based on European Union standards, a report on which is expected to be published within a couple of months.

Stress tests will also be conducted on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant still under construction, he said. The plant will not obtain a license to install nuclear fuel rods until it meets all 19 requirements set by the AEC, he added.

The hearing was held ahead of the first anniversary of the March11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that led to a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and sparked global concern over nuclear safety.

To mark the anniversary, environmental groups in Taiwan will hold a march in Taipei March 11 to voice their opposition to nuclear power.

As a warm-up to the event, the groups staged demonstrations at entrances to the Executive, Control and Legislative yuans Thursday, demanding that the government abandon nuclear power immediately.

Among the protesters were Kao Cheng-yan, a professor at the Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics of National Taiwan University.

According to Kao's speculation, at least 1 million people willlose their lives in the event of an accident at the No. 1 or No. 2nuclear power plants, both of which are located just over 20 km from Taipei.

President Ma Ying-jeou has promised that the three existing nuclear power plants will cease to operate after their licenses expire.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Zoe Wei and Y.F. Low)