Nuclear reactor problem fixed, awaiting AEC go-ahead: Taipower

Taipei--Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said Monday that a cooling system failure of a reactor at the Third Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County has been repaired and could resume operation as soon as the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) gives its approval.

An application to restart the plant's second reactor was submitted to the council after the problem was resolved late the previous day, said Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu.

It remains uncertain when the council will approve a restart, but there should be no concerns about power shortages, Lin said.

Taipower has estimated that electricity consumption in Taiwan on Monday will reach 35.7 million kilowatts, with power reserves at 1.3 million kW, giving an operating reserve margin of 3.75 percent, Lin said.

This means that the incident is not serious enough for the company to flash a red warning signal, which occurs when operating reserves fall below 900,000 kW, he said.

Under the company's supply warning system, an orange warning light flashes when the operating reserve margin falls below 6 percent, and red and black warnings are issued when operating reserves fall below 900,000 and 500,000 kW, respectively. A black alert usually means that power rationing will be implemented.

Taipower has introduced generators at its Dalin plant in Kaohsiung and its Tongxiao plant in Miaoli to increase power supplies, according to Lin.

The company has given an assurance that there was no risk of radiation leaks after the reactor developed problems with one of its cooling pumps early Sunday.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council