EPA approves decommissioning of Taiwan's No. 1 nuke reactor

EPA approves 25-year decommissioning plan for Taiwan's No. 1 nuke power plant


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After three years of review, Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Wednesday (May 15) announced that it has approved a 25-year decommissioning plan for Taiwan's 40-year-old No. 1 nuclear power plant.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the decommissioning plan for the No. 1 reactor, also known as the Chin Shan Nuclear Power Plant (金山核能發電廠), was first put forward in January of 2016. After a review by the EIA conference in May of that year, the EPA decided to begin a more rigorous second phase of the EIA, reported CNA.

After three scope-defining meetings, it formally entered the second-level environmental impact assessment phase in August of last year. After three preliminary examinations, the plan was sent for final approval.

Today, the plan entered the final stage at the EIA conference and was approved, making the No. 1 reactor Taiwan's first power plant to enter the decommissioning stage. The operating license for Unit 1 expired on Dec. 5 of last year, with the license for Unit 2 slated to expire in July of this year.

The decommissioning plan will be divided into four stages, including post-operation transition (8 years), decommissioning and dismantling (12 years), demolition of the reactor building and turbine building (3 years), and site recovery (2 years), for a total of 25 years.

At the conference, the New Taipei City government expressed that the decommissioning process could be implemented as soon as possible, while ensuring that safety is guaranteed. The city government pointed out that the EIA decommissioning plan will include a huge amount of work, including the construction of radioactive waste treatment facilities, storage facilities, and extraction units.

Environmental groups also pointed out at the meeting that this will be the first decommissioning of a nuclear power plant in Taiwan's history. The organization warned that if management and control are not up to standard, remedial measures should be taken, reported CNA.

The Taiwan Power Company responded by saying that during the decommissioning process, all radioactive waste treatment, storage, and transportation would meet the requirements of the relevant competent authorities, and would be subject to strict supervision and control, according to the report.

Video by the Atomic Energy Council explaining the nuclear power plant decommissioning process: