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Nuclear reactor mishap costs Taipower NT$200 million

Nuclear reactor mishap costs Taipower NT$200 million

A reactor malfunction caused by human error March 10 at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shimen, New Taipei cost the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) an estimated NT$200 million (US$6.18 million), Taipower Chairman Hwang Jung-chiou said Monday.

The automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor at the plant for four days prompted Taipower to turn to other fuel options for power generation and cost the company NT$50 million in losses per day, Huang said during a legislative session.

The error was made by a long-time employee who wanted to control a reactor with a touch screen computer, but instead operated a touch screen interface to control the other reactor, according to Huang.

He said Taiwan will deploy a multi-tiered protection design in the future to prevent operators from inadvertently operating touch switches.

Taipower shut down the reactor March 10 due to a higher than normal water level, and the reactor only resumed operation March 14.

The company previously said that after a probe into the incident, it was found that an employee had inadvertently touched a power button, which resulted in cooling water entering the reactor.

The employee has been disciplined with a salary reduction of NT$20,000 per month and has been transferred to a different post. Related superiors have also been turned over to a disciplinary committee, according to the company. (By Huang Chiao-wen, Lilian Wu and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2022-05-18 17:16 GMT+08:00