Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council (AEC) on 5 March approved a plan to restart Kuosheng 2, a 951MWe boiling water reactor, which has been offline since May 2016 following an electrical ground-fault incident that damaged the surge arrester of the main generator.
AEC said the final decision on restarting the unit rests with the Legislative Yuan (parliament). State-owned Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) applied to the AEC for permission to restart the unit in February. The unit, which has undergone a significant refurbishment, is licensed to operate until 2023.
Taiwan has six commercially operational nuclear power reactors at three sites – Chinshan, Kuosheng and Maanshan – capable of providing about 16% of its electricity. However, this has fallen to around 13% in recent years. In addition to Kuosheng 2, Chinshan 1 has been closed for over two years as a result of a fuel fault (which has been rectified), and Chinshan 2 was closed after a typhoon.
Construction of a fourth nuclear power station at Lungmen (two 1350MWe advanced boiling water reactors), which began in 1999, was suspended, under public pressure, after the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident. The completed Lungmen 1 was mothballed in July 2015, while construction of unit 2 was suspended in April 2014. Two more units had been planned. In the face of public opposition to nuclear power, Taiwan plans to shut all units and liberalise the domestic electricity market by 2025.