Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

AEC confirms nuclear plant might extend operations

AEC confirms nuclear plant might extend operations

The Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council yesterday confirmed that operations at the country's first nuclear power plant might be renewed for another 20 years after its original 40-year license expired in 2017.
At a year-end news conference, AEC Chairman Su Hsien-chang (蘇獻章) said it was a global trend for existing power plants to renew their licenses due to soaring international crude oil prices.
The council, he said, had completed a time-limited integrated plant assessment (TLIPA) of the nuclear power complex in Shihmen, Taipei County, which certified that the plant could apply to operate for 20 additional years.
Su noted that if Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which runs the country's nuclear power plants, applies to extend the facility's operations and if the AEC gives it a green light, then it would become the first extended-operation nuclear power plant in Asia.
Most developed countries in the world have committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which are thought to contribute to global warming that is changing climate patterns around the earth.
With the burning of fossil fuels one of the biggest sources of emissions, the AEC wants the first nuclear power plant to replace local thermal plants powered by coal, which it estimates would reduce emissions by 7.3 million tons a year.
Su said, however, that the agency was not considering building new nuclear plants.
"Taiwan definitely will not have a fifth nuclear power plant," he said.
But Su indicated that the government could purchase more generating units for existing plants, with the first, second and fourth nuclear power plants able to add two units each.
The third nuclear power plant has the capacity to add six more units, Su said.
Taiwan currently has three nuclear power plants in operation. The fourth, located in Gongliao in Taipei County on Taiwan's northeastern coast, is expected to be completed in 2012 after years of controversy.
The Executive Yuan halted construction on the project in October 2000 to honor campaign pledges by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to turn Taiwan into a nuclear-free country.
The suspension caused billions of dollars in losses before the government was forced to make an about-face and resume construction early the following year.
But the Cabinet and the Legislature also reached an agreement in 2001 that while the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant should be resumed, the eventual goal would be a nuclear-free Taiwan.


Updated : 2021-06-15 12:59 GMT+08:00