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Taiwan -Lawmaker pushes for stronger nuclear safety oversight -Blames World Association of Nuclear Operators!

Meanwhile, the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which runs the country’s nuclear power plants, said it will seek a review by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) before the under-construction fourth plant begins operations.

However, Chiau said the credibility of the association has been called into question by the nuclear disaster in Japan last year.

 

2012/11/04

(By Chen Wei-ting and Scully Hsiao)

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) A ruling Kuomintang lawmaker called Sunday for the establishment of an ad hoc legislative committee to strengthen the oversight of the country’s nuclear safety.

Ting Shou-chung said at a press conference in Taipei that he will launch a signature drive in the Legislature to garner support for his proposal from legislators across party lines.

Legislator Chiau Wen-yan, also of the KMT, said on the same occasion that doubts remain over the safety of the country’s nuclear plants.

The first, second and fourth nuclear plants are close not only to Taipei and New Taipei — which are home to over 5 million people — but also to geological faults and shorelines, which makes them vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis, Chiau said.

Meanwhile, the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which runs the country’s nuclear power plants, said it will seek a review by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) before the under-construction fourth plant begins operations.

However, Chiau said the credibility of the association has been called into question by the nuclear disaster in Japan last year.

A nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan that was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, proved that the plant had various safety flaws even though it passed a WANO review in 2009, Chiau said.

The WANO is a non-profit technical support organization financed by its members. Taipower joined in 1992.

Ting also said that the Legislature’s Economics Committee has passed a resolution calling for the conversion of the fourth nuclear plant into a power plant that runs on natural gas.

However, Taipower has countered the resolution, saying that the plan would cause a spike in electricity rates and lead to power rationing, Ting said.

According to Taipower calculations, such a conversion would cost NT$90 billion (US$3 billion) and would increase power generation costs at the fourth plant to NT$5.3 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity, he went on.

Ting dismissed Taipower’s calculations, saying that since the power generated by the fourth plant only accounts for 9 percent of the total, a shift to natural gas would only raise the cost by NT$0.2 per kWh of electricity for consumers. 

(By Chen Wei-ting and Scully Hsiao)

http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aSOC&ID=201211040016

November 4, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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