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Lungmen safety measures praised by WANO

ROC government efforts in upgrading safety measures for the yet-to-be-completed Lungmen nuclear power plant are highly commended by the World Association of Nuclear Operators, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs Aug. 29.

Comprising more than 10 experts in construction, design, maintenance and testing operations, the Tokyo-based WANO team began its technical support mission at Lungmen in mid-June and is expected to submit its official report in mid-September.

The experts were in country at the invitation of state-run Taiwan Power Co., which runs the country’s three operational nuclear power plants and oversees construction at Lungmen in northern Taiwan.

According to the MOEA, the first stage of the team’s visit involved assessing safety inspection procedures and testing operation results at Lungmen.

“After wrapping up this part of the process Aug. 10, the experts gave high marks to the facility’s safety prevention measures and related software and hardware,” the MOEA official said.

The team also commended Lungmen management for successfully designing and performing testing procedures with the assistance of equipment supplier General Electric Co., describing this undertaking as key in accumulating experiences and developing proprietary skills required for safe facility operation.

In addition, the experts said additional safety measures adopted by Lungmen can serve as a model for similar facilities worldwide and contribute to preventing a Fukushima-style meltdown as triggered by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and the ensuing tsunami in northeastern Japan.

To ensure the highest safety standards, the team recommended Taipower continue strengthening education and technical training in maintenance and operating procedures for Lungmen staff.

The MOEA said Lungmen is seen by WANO experts as a benchmark project in the development of nuclear energy, with its operations of great interest to the international atomic industry.

“We have directed Taipower to continue implementing improvements based on the WANO recommendations for ensuring the smooth operation of Lungmen going forward,” the official said.

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