Taipei, June 12 (CNA) The Cabinet reiterated Monday the government's resolve to move away from nuclear power, as it sought to reassure environmentalists who were protesting against the recent reactivation of a reactor at the country's second nuclear power plant.
The government remains committed to the goal of decommissioning the three operational nuclear power plants as scheduled and making Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
Six months after it was shut down for annual maintenance, the No. 1 reactor at the second nuclear power plant located in New Taipei City resumed operation last Saturday with the approval of the Atomic Energy Council (AEC).
The decision, however, drew strong protests from environmental groups, which gathered outside the Executive Yuan on Monday, saying that Premier Lin Chuan (林全) was ignoring public safety and should resign.
Also on Monday, Chang Hsin (張欣), chief of the AEC's Department of Nuclear Regulation, said the council was expected to give approval later in the day to reactivate the No. 2 reactor at the third nuclear power plant as it had passed AEC inspection.
The reactor at the plant in southern Pingtung County was taken offline on April 7 for annual maintenance, which was scheduled to be completed on May 17, but due to accidental damage to a component during the process, the work was delayed.
On June 7, the state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) applied to the AEC for permission to restart the reactor as the maintenance and repairs were complete.
Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (林德福) said that pending AEC approval, the reactor would resume power generation on June 16.
(By Ku Chuan, Huang Li-yun and Y.F. Low)ENDITEM/pc