Shutdown process begins for generator at Taiwan's No. 2 nuclear plant

07/01/2021 10:57 PM
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Wikimedia Commons image of Taiwan
Wikimedia Commons image of Taiwan's No. 2 nuclear power plant

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Taiwan's second nuclear plant has begun the shutdown process for its No. 1 generator, which is set to enter the decommissioning stage after producing power for 40 years, state-run utility Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) said late Thursday.

In a statement, Taipower spokesperson Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) said operators at the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Wanli District, New Taipei began reducing the power generation capacity of the 985 MW generator at 8 p.m.

The generator is expected to be shut down completely some time overnight, after which it will undergo an environmental assessment, and begin its decommissioning stage, pending approval by the Atomic Energy Council, he said.

The gap in power generation caused by the shutdown will be filled by a combination of generators that have been undergoing maintenance, as well as solar and wind power, Chang said.

Although the No. 1 generator's 40-year operating permit does not expire until the end of 2021, because its spent fuel pool was almost full, Taipower reduced the unit's power generation capacity by 20 percent in March and decided to shut it down early.

The other generator at the Kuosheng plant is scheduled to operate until March 2023 when its operating permit expires, according to Taipower.

Taiwan's government is working to phase out the use of nuclear power by 2025 and replace it with renewable energy, the goal being that renewable energy will account for 20 percent of the country's energy mix.

Last year, nuclear energy accounted for 13 percent of Taiwan's total power generation, a number that is likely to drop this year, according to Taipower.

(By Tseng Chih-yi and Matthew Mazzetta)

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