Premier reaffirms goal of nuclear-free Taiwan by 2025

2018/02/06 19:14:45 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lai Ching-te (賴清德, center)

Lai Ching-te (賴清德, center)

Taipei, Feb. 6 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said Tuesday that the government's goal of making Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025 remains unchanged, regardless of how the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) decides to rule on Taiwan Power Co.'s (Taipower's) application to restart the second reactor at its No. 2 nuclear plant in New Taipei.

Taipower applied a day earlier to restart the reactor, which has been offline since May 2016, when it encountered a glitch in its electrical system during major maintenance work. The last round of maintenance was completed in December 2017, and the glitch has apparently been solved.

Lai said that Taipower is following standard procedure in filing its application to the AEC, in response to protests about the dangers of reactivating the reactor.

The application will be submitted to the Legislature if it is approved by the AEC following a 30-day safety review.

Should Taipower be successful with its application, the reactor can be up and running by April, which would alleviate the tight electricity supply problem that Taiwan has been suffering from this year, Taipower Chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said.

Yang vouched for the safety of the reactor, saying that the company has fixed the glitch and completely restored the machine.

Meanwhile, the Green Consumers' Foundation, a Taiwanese environmental group, has filed a lawsuit against Lai at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office on charges of engaging in offenses against public safety.

According to Jay Fang (方儉), chairman of the foundation, the restarting of the second nuclear reactor could cause more earthquakes in the country.

(By Kuan-lin Liu, Wu Jui-chi, Huang Ya-hsuan and Wang Ya-yu)

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