TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Under the government’s plan to make Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025, the Third Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County has filed an application to shut down, reports said Monday (July 26).
The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) confirmed it had received the document, adding that it would spend one month on a procedural review and 18 months on a more thorough practical overview, CNA reported.
According to existing legislation, the application must be filed at least three years before energy production stops. Taiwan’s two other active nuclear plants, both located on the north coast in New Taipei City, have operating licenses that end on July 27, 2024, and May 17, 2025.
The Third Nuclear Power Plant is the only one in the southern part of the country, its domes clearly visible from the beaches of the nearby resort town of Kenting. All of the country’s nuclear power stations are operated by state utility Taiwan Power Corporation (Taipower).
The AEC said it would call in outside experts to form a review committee, though the timing of the process might be adjusted depending on Taipower's replies to the committee’s questions. The local government and residents will also be given a chance to participate in the process, and the details of the timetable to phase out the plant will be put online, according to the AEC.
The state of the COVID-19 pandemic could also cause adjustments to the nuclear review process, CNA reported.