Taipower is considering uprating the six reactors on Taiwan as well as completing three new ones by 2025.
The Chinese island already features six reactors spread in pairs across the Chinshan, Kuosheng and Maanshan sites. Together these produce about 20% of its power. Two more reactors under construction at a site called Lungmen have suffered delays due to repeated political changes. These Advanced Boiling Water Reactors were put on track for completion in 2011 and 2012 by a funding decision in March 2009.
Now, a statement on Taipower's website says it envisages three new reactors operating by 2025 - the two at Lungmen plus a third. However, it warns that any new build projects are the prerogative of government although in line with the 'rational' use of nuclear power dictated by targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 2000 levels by 2025.
|Maanshan nuclear power plant from Kenting beach
(Image: Impaulsive Photography)
Meanwhile it is considering major uprates of existing reactors to 'substantially increase power and efficiency'. This is a common practice around the world and appropriate for Taiwan, where all six units began operation between 1978 and 1985. The units have already undergone uprates totalling 44 MWe but a July 2010 submission to regulators could see the total rise by another 440 MWe.
Current licenses held by Taipower would see those reactors shut between 2017 and 2025, but these would be renewed to cover 20 extra years. New licenses and performance boosts are usually both the products of major maintenance around three-quarters of the way through an original operating license.
In 2009 Taipower also celebrated what it called its best ever performance. Its fleet generated 39.9 billion kWh with only one unscheduled shutdown. In addition Kuosheng 2 completed a run of 547 operational days followed by a record refuelling break of under 29 days.
Meanwhile, less low-level radioactive waste was produced in 2009 than previous years: 780 barrels compared to 828 barrels in 2008.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News