The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Manshan nuclear power plant Taiwan continues to have problems and is now on a panicked Orange Alert

Wed, Jan 25, 2017

The power supply system yesterday flashed an “orange” alert due to a breakdown at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Ma-anshan (馬鞍山) in Pingtung County’s Hengchun Township (恆春), state-run utility Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) said.

A malfunction of a cooling water pump at the plant’s first reactor at 6:26am caused the reactor to shut down, Taipower said. The electricity supply was consequently limited to a maximum of 28.62 gigawatts (GW), with consumption expected to hit a high of 27.35GW, triggering an orange alert, Taipower said. Taipower uses a five-color system to indicate the status of power reserves and the stability of the nation’s power supply.

“Green” indicates an operating reserve of more than 10 percent of total supply, “yellow” signals a reserve of between 6 percent and 10 percent and orange represents a reserve of less than 6 percent. A “red” alert flashes when reserve capacity falls below 900,000 kilowatts (kW) and a “black” light indicates that reserve capacity has fallen under 500,000kW, the point at which Taipower prepares for power rationing.

The plant is repairing the pump, and Taipower notified the Atomic Energy Council and the county government about the situation, the company said. The firm said it has suspended all unnecessary tests on other nuclear power plant units to focus on measures to ensure sufficient power supply.

Ma-anshan nuclear plant reactor given green light

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter
Tue, Jan 12, 2016

The Atomic Energy Council yesterday gave permission to Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to reactivate the second reactor at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County after halting its operation for two months due to a faulty screw bolt.

The reactor underwent a regular overhaul from Nov. 9 to Dec. 1, but the discovery of a faulty anchor bolt in the reactor lid prevented the reactor from resuming operations.

The bolt was removed and replaced on Dec. 25 and the council approved Taipower’s reactivation plan on Sunday after an inspection, the council said, adding that there are no safety implications or risks of radiation leaks.

The screw bolt was one of 58 on the reactor lid, and abrasion and dust accumulated on the screw threads caused the bolt to become stuck, Taipower said.

The incident was the first in Taiwan, although multiple cases have been reported in other nations and Taipower asked international companies to help resolve the problem.

The reactor is yet to go through a series of tests before it can start generating power, Taipower spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said, adding that the reactor could be back online today at the earliest.

The reactivation of the reactor would see five of the six reactors at the nation’s three functioning nuclear plants running, the exception being the first reactor at Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), which has been offline since December 2014 pending a probe into a loose handle on a fuel rod cask.

Tue, Dec 15, 2015

Defective metal parts found at Ma-anshan plant

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday confirmed that two mechanical problems at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County were uncovered during the annual overhaul of the plant’s No. 2 reactor last month.

A control rod driver had become crooked, and a screw bolt on the steam generator had fractured, the company said, adding that they were the first such incidents in Taiwan.

News of the problems came weeks after Taipower reported workers had had problems recovering an addition to an anchor bolt from the reactor lid during the 35-day-long maintenance project, officials said.

Taipower spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said the control rod’s drive mechanism consists of 52 drivers and controls the fission rate of the nuclear fuel rods. Only one driver had become deformed, and it was replaced, Lin said.

However, such deformation could lead to the misplacement of a control rod when it is inserted into the central core of the reactor, Lin said.

A screw bolt on the steam generator was fractured as it was being removed, and the bolt has also been replaced, he said.

Employees of Westinghouse Electric, which built the reactor, were able to recover the stuck screw bolt used to secure the reactor’s cover lid, he said.

The stuck bolt was the focus of a heated question-and-answer session at the legislature earlier this month, with lawmakers criticizing Taipower for failing to immediately report the incident to the Atomic Energy Council and the Pingtung County Government.

The bolt was recovered through an intrusive method whereby it was cut and hollowed, and holes drilled into the reactor wall to crank out the bolt, but the holes would be repaired and a new bolt sleeve would be installed, Lin said.

Green Citizens’ Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said the government is running out of time to come up with alternatives to its reliance on nuclear power.

“The nation’s three operating nuclear plants are at the end of their service life, and it is when safety risk is highest. The government must review alternative energy options so that it can decommission the plants before their 40-year lifespan ends, or at least not extend their lifespans.”

The deactivation of reactor No. 2 at Ma-anshan for maintenance marked a period where half of the nation’s six operating reactors were off-line.

The two reactors of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shimen District (石門) have been deactivated for annual maintenance since December last year. However, one is scheduled to be reactivated on Jan. 3.

Taiwan joins global anti-nuclear trend


January 18, 2017

“…..In Taiwan, the six reactors in the three active nuclear power plants will reach their 40-year operation limit by May 2025. The No 1 reactor in the Jinshan plant will reach this deadline in December 2018. The amendment ruled out any extension to operations at all nuclear reactors, and they must be closed by 2025.

Changes to the law will also see the state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) privatized within six to nine years, with its operations split between electricity generation and distribution.

Taipower currently controls power generation, transmission and distribution (grid), and power sales, but the changes will now allow new players to enter the market eliminating the monopoly that has existed for six decades. Renewable energy such as solar and wind power will be given priority to go on the grid.

The move is the government’s attempt to promote renewable energy, aiming to increase the current share of 2% to 20% of the island’s total energy generation by 2025…..”


January 25, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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