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Taiwan’s 4th nuclear plant to start operations before 2011 National Day

Taiwan’s 4th nuclear plant to start operations before 2011 National Day

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Wu Den-yih wants the controversial fourth nuclear plant to start operations before National Day, October 10, 2011, as a present for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of China, reports said Monday.
The project for the plant, situated in Kungliao, Taipei County, on Taiwan’s North Coast, was the target of mass protests and legislative action for decades. Critics attacked the power station as a safety risk because of earthquakes in the region and its eventual radioactive waste.
Premier Wu Den-yih told the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the state power utility, Taiwan Power Corporation, that commercial operations at the plant should begin before next year’s Double Ten as an anniversary present for the nation, the Chinese-language United Evening News said Monday.
The original plan was for the first reactor at the nuclear facility to be launched near the end of 2011, the paper said, but after listening to a Taipower report last February, Wu told company chairman Edward Chen to try and bring the date forward.
The premier’s words caused the MOEA and Taipower to hurry up efforts to follow the new schedule, according to the evening paper. Over the past two years, Chen reportedly visited the construction site up to 30 times.
Postponing the opening of the reactors leads to extra interest payments and more than NT$20 billion per year in alternative energy costs, the paper said.
All through the 1990s, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and environmental activists tried to stop work on the fourth nuclear plant from going ahead. The issue was the subject of numerous protests and confrontations, both inside and outside the Legislative Yuan.
After the DPP came to power in 2000, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung ordered a stop to the construction in October of that year. In January 2001, the Council of Grand Justices ruled against the government decision, and the following month, the Legislative Yuan, where the DPP did not control a majority, voted for a continuation of the project.
Chang signed an agreement with the Legislature which led to a resumption of works after a pause of 110 days. The delay cost a total of NT$220 billion, said the United Evening News, quoting figures from Taipower.
In addition, the budget spent after the interruption increased to NT$233.5 billion from the projected NT$188.8 billion, the paper said.
The power plant’s second reactor is scheduled to start operating in 2012.


Updated : 2021-07-31 04:38 GMT+08:00