Safety inspections on fourth nuclear plant due to end in June
Central News Agency
2014-01-28 09:53 PM
Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) Safety inspections on Taiwan's nearly completed fourth nuclear power plant are expected to run through June, with the relevant report and documents delivered to the Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council by the end of September, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday. The announcement came after Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch chaired the latest meeting of a team of experts charged with ensuring the safety of the nuclear power plant, which is located in New Taipei, northern Taiwan. The team of more than 70 local and foreign nuclear experts began their inspections on a total of 126 systems at the facility in May 2013. So far they have given their approval to 100 of them, with improvements being made on 21 others, said the MOEA. Five more systems have either not yet been handed over to the team for inspection or are waiting to be inspected after their handover, it added. Beginning in June 2013, the team re-ran tests already carried out by the Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) -- the operator of all of Taiwan's nuclear power plants -- according to 231 procedures. To date, 154 of the procedures have been completed. The MOEA hopes the Atomic Energy Council will finish its review of all the relevant documents in three months so that Taipower can obtain permission to install fuel rods at the plant by the end of this year. The ministry hopes the plant will obtain a license to begin commercial operation after a year-long trial run that is expected to end in late 2015. The safety inspections were initiated in an effort to ease widespread concern among the public after the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the earthquake and tsunamis which struck northeastern Japan in March 2011. Construction of the plant began in 1999 but remains incomplete, due partly to Taiwan's changing political climate, in which advocacy of nuclear power is highly unpopular. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Jay Chen)
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