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Premier vows nuclear power plants to close on schedule

2016/09/02 16:26:21

Taipei, Sept. 2 (CNA) Premier Lin Chuan (林全) pledged Friday that the government will not extend the operating life of two of Taiwan's active nuclear power plants, but he gave assurances that the country's electricity supply will remain stable in the coming years.

The No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants will be phased out according to the government's schedule, Lin said on a visit to New Taipei to see the Taipower Exhibit Center and meet with residents to discuss issues such as dealing with nuclear waste.

New Taipei is home to the two nuclear power plants scheduled to be decommissioned from 2018 to 2023.

Lin sparked controversy in June when he said consideration should be given to restarting the first reactor of the No. 1 nuclear power plant to ensure electricity supply during the summer peak season.

On Friday, Lin said one of the two reactors in each of the two nuclear power plants in New Taipei are already out of service and the government is pushing to transform the country's power supply structure.

He said several alternatives were available to ensure a stable supply of electricity. "Currently, there doesn't seem to be a problem," he added.

The first reactor of the No. 1 nuclear power plant in Shimen District has been suspended since December 2014 after it underwent major maintenance. One of the reactors at the No. 2 plant in Wanli District has been out of service since April, when it underwent major maintenance, and then encountered a glitch in its electrical system.

Taiwan has three active nuclear power plants. According to the current schedule, the No. 1 reactor at the No. 1 nuclear power plant is scheduled to end service on Dec. 5, 2018, following by the phasing out of the No. 2 reactor on July 15, 2019.

The No. 2 nuclear power plant will see its No. 1 and No. 2 reactors end operations on Dec. 27, 2021 and March 14, 2023, respectively.

Under the policy of President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) administration to create a nuclear-free homeland, Taiwan's three operational nuclear power plants are scheduled to be decommissioned by 2025, while a nearly completed fourth plant will remain mothballed.

Nuclear power has traditionally accounted for nearly 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity production, raising questions about what will replace it when it is phased out.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Elaine Hou)
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