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Taipower to restart Ma-anshan nuclear plant

The Atomic Energy Council yesterday gave permission to Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to reactivate the second reactor at the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County after halting its operation for two months due to a faulty screw bolt.

The reactor underwent a regular overhaul from Nov. 9 to Dec. 1, but the discovery of a faulty anchor bolt in the reactor lid prevented the reactor from resuming operations.

The bolt was removed and replaced on Dec. 25 and the council approved Taipower’s reactivation plan on Sunday after an inspection, the council said, adding that there are no safety implications or risks of radiation leaks.

The screw bolt was one of 58 on the reactor lid, and abrasion and dust accumulated on the screw threads caused the bolt to become stuck, Taipower said.

The incident was the first in Taiwan, although multiple cases have been reported in other nations and Taipower asked international companies to help resolve the problem.

The reactor is yet to go through a series of tests before it can start generating power, Taipower spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said, adding that the reactor could be back online today at the earliest.

The reactivation of the reactor would see five of the six reactors at the nation’s three functioning nuclear plants running, the exception being the first reactor at Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), which has been offline since December 2014 pending a probe into a loose handle on a fuel rod cask.


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