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Maintaining unused plant to cost NT$4 billion: Duh

TAIPEI--It will cost just under NT$4 billion (US$133 million) to maintain Taiwan's nearly completed but not operational fourth nuclear power plant for three years, according to Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun (杜紫軍) on Thursday.

Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower, 台電), the operator of Taiwan's nuclear power plants, has estimated that keeping the controversial plant closed but maintained will take NT$1.2 billion-1.3 billion for the first year alone.

Duh dismissed concerns that once those three years are up, fuel rods would be installed at the plant despite public misgivings over it and an ongoing wider debate over the fate of nuclear power in Taiwan.

“The Ministry of Economic Affairs is saying two or three years because of our estimate for when there will be a possible referendum (on the plant's future),” he explained.

“If three years pass and there is still no referendum to decide whether to activate the plant, we will then decide whether to enter the second phase of keeping it closed and maintained,” he said.

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