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Nuke 3 to stop supplying electricity for 10 days

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday that following the Third Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2's annual examination began in March, the power plant's Unit 1 will undergo a 10-day construction today to strengthen its earthquake resistance structures, meaning that the power plant will stop supplying electricity for 10 days.

Noting that the firm undergoes examinations for the nuclear power plants annually to ensure the resistance to earthquake, Taipower said it has arranged annual examination for the First Nuclear Power Plant's Unit 2 at the end of April.

Taipower said that the annual examination of Unit 2 will complete around the end of June and Unit 1 will resume its duty on April 28. While the two units of the Third Nuclear Power Plant, colloquially known as Nuke 3, temporarily cease operations, the nation's electricity supply will not be affected as the firm has prepared electricity supplied by other power plants, Taipower said.

The state-owned company further explained that gas-fired power plants such as Talin, Hieh-ho and Tunghsiao power plants that locate in Southern Taiwan will supply electricity while Nuke 3 is not operational, adding that it would cost approximately NT$8.5 billion for the substitute power supply.

Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) yesterday said if citizens do not want the Nuke 4 and are seeking for stable electricity supply at the same time, then the only option left is to extend the services of the existing nuclear power plants.

Chang's remark came after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday urged both ruling party and opposition parties to support and pass a special draft bill to be proposed by the DPP on a referendum concerning the Nuke 4.

Chang told reporters that if there are alternative energy resources to sufficiently supply the nation's power demand, then the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will not have any issues to either terminate Nuke or abolish all nuclear power plants.

The minister went on to say that people could choose to protest against nuclear power plants, but the question remains that if people can live with a life of lack of electricity. He added that the national might face the problem of electricity shortages soon.

Chang said the government's policy is to gradually reduce the dependence on nuclear power plants, reiterating that to extend the services of existing power plants is the only option if people do not want Nuke 4 and wants stable electricity supply.

If people do not accept the option, then the nation will just have to face the problem of electricity shortages.

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Yilan Humanistic Education Foundation President Chen Hsi-nan (陳錫南), center, speaks during the joint press conference with DPP members from the New Taipei City Council. The conference sought to persuade New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) to stop the dry cask storage of Nuke 1, in hopes of preventing a nuclear disaster.

(CNA)

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