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Third nuclear power plant not affected by massive earthquake

04/03/2024 01:23 PM
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The only active nuclear plant in Taiwan in Pingtung County. CNA file photo
The only active nuclear plant in Taiwan in Pingtung County. CNA file photo

Taipei, April 3 (CNA) The only active nuclear plant in Taiwan is operating as usual despite a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan on Wednesday morning, the Nuclear Safety Commission said.

The earthquake triggered the low-frequency alarm of the plant's first and second electrical power systems, and the low-water alarm for the second power system sounded briefly, but the third nuclear power plant, located on Taiwan's southern tip, continued to function normally, the commission said.

Though the first and second nuclear plants have entered their decommissioning stage and are no longer generating power, their fuel cooling systems continued to operate normally, the commission said.

The earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien County at 7:58 a.m., according to the Central Weather Administration, making it the strongest one measured in Taiwan since the 921 Jiji Earthquake, a magnitude 7.3 quake that struck central Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999.

Graphic: Central Weather Administration
Graphic: Central Weather Administration

The epicenter of the temblor was located in the Pacific Ocean, 25.0 kilometers south-southeast of Hualien County Hall, at a depth of 15.5 km, according to the administration's Seismology Center.

The earthquake's intensity, which gauges the actual effect of a seismic event, was highest in Hualien, where it measured a 6+ on Taiwan's 7-tier intensity scale, the administration said.

An intensity level of 3 was reported in the Hengchun Peninsula, where the third nuclear power plant is located, a relative low level of shaking relative to the rest of the island.

(By Joy Tseng and Chao Yen-hsiang)

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Update

April 4

● 38 still missing as Hualien earthquake death toll rises to 10

● Rail traffic between Yilan, Hualien reopens after quake

● More than 70% of TSMC equipment back online after major quake in Taiwan

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April 3

● Nine dead, over 1,000 injured as earthquake rescue operations continue

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● Magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes off eastern Taiwan

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