AEC approves restart of No. 2 reactor at 2nd nuclear plant

Taipei, The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) has given the nod to the country's second nuclear power plant in New Taipei's Wanli District to restart its No. 2 reactor, state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said on Tuesday.

Taipower received official written approval from the AEC earlier Tuesday to restart the reactor, the power company said, adding that the reactor is undergoing final safety checks and is expected to be running at full capacity within about one week.

The reactor, which went offline in May 2016 following a glitch in its electrical system during major maintenance work, resumed operations on March 27 of this year, but automatically shut down the next day after it developed another glitch.

An initial check suggested that the reactor automatically shut down when too much steam was discharged from side valves, creating a pressure overload, Taipower said following the incident.

Taipower then submitted an application on April 9 to the AEC seeking to restart the reactor. After convening several review meetings and conducting an on-site inspection on Monday, the AEC gave the plant approval to restart the reactor.

The reactor is expected to generate 985 megawatts of electricity, or 2.7 percent of the operating reserve margin -- the percentage of generating capacity available to the power grid that can be called upon within a short period of time.

A fully operational second reactor will give Taipower more flexibility in supplying power during the hot summer months when demand for power peaks.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (???) said on Tuesday the city is not opposed to restarting the second reactor, but that Taipower and relevant government agencies should scrutinize safety at the nuclear plant.

Chu also called on the central government and Taipower to come up with measures to properly handle and store spent nuclear fuel.

The city will not allow the greater Taipei area to become the disposal site for radioactive waste, Chu said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel