PROJECT | Staff Reporter, Taiwan

Restarting Taiwan's No.4 nuclear power project could cost up to $2.26b

Construction of its two reactors began in 1999 but was suspended in 2014 and 2015.

The revival of the fourth nuclear power plant at Longmen in New Taipei’s Gongliao District could cost as much as US$1.94b-2.26b, Taiwan’s news agency reports, citing Atomic Energy Council (AEC) minister Hsieh Shou-shing.

Amidst a heated national debate on nuclear energy, the minister said that a decision to search for a final disposal repository for radioactive waste has not been reached. He declined to answer the question of when the location of a final repository can be determined because no cities or counties in the country are willing to have such a facility in their localities.

The construction of two reactors at the Longmen plant began in 1999, but the project has been met with political, legal and regulatory delays. The completed unit 1 was mothballed in July 2015, whilst construction of unit 2 was suspended in April 2014.

According to Hsieh, the assets of the plant are currently being fully maintained and managed and that if the government wants to revive the project, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) will have to submit a plan to the AEC.

Even if a referendum on restarting the project passes, the AEC will not lower its vetting standards, he said.

The minister added that only the decommissioning of the unit 2 reactor at the No. 3 nuclear plant — the Maanshan plant in Pingtung County — can be postponed.

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