The Second Nuclear Power Plant's unit 2 generator will be shut down on Mar. 14 this year. However, Datan Power Plant's unit 8 generator may not be able to start supplying electricity until early April. Although the Minister of Economic Affairs said that there will be no such issues, experts had different thoughts.
Another nuclear power unit will be shut down and decommissioned this year. Will there be a gap in the domestic power supply? Experts pointed out that the shutdown of the unit 2 generator at the Second Nuclear Plant on Mar. 14 will reduce the power supply by 985,000 kW. In addition, the unit 7 gas generator at Datan Power Plant was taken offline at the end of 2022, which reduced the overall supply by 600,000 kW. Even if Datan Power Plant's unit 8 generator comes online at the end of March or early April, it can only make up for 1.1 million kW in lost power supply, resulting in a gap of nearly 500,000 kW. However, the Ministry of Economic Affairs guarantees that there will be no shortage of electricity.
Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Economic Affairs: “Related scheduling and arrangements will be made. Which is not a problem.”
Yeh Tsung-kuang, director of Tsinghua University's Nuclear Science and Technology Development Center, is skeptical. He pointed out that even if Datan unit 8 generator comes online as scheduled, there is still a gap of at least half a month after the shutdown of the Second Nuclear Power Plant's unit 2 generator. He doesn't believe Taipower has the ability to dispatch power from other supplies.
Yeh Tsung-kuang, Director, Nuclear Science and Technology Development Center, NTUA: “If we rely on dispatching power from elsewhere, the power supply will be insufficient when the nighttime demand spike appears. In fact, Taipower's options are very limited. The number of units used to generate electricity is limited.”
Taipower emphasized that the shutdown of the nuclear power unit and the delay in the launch of gas units were all known in advance. It has responded by adjusting the annual maintenance schedule of other power plants.
Wu Chin-chung, Taipower Spokesperson: “We have adjusted the relevant schedules for overhaul. Repairs that were originally scheduled to be carried out this January to March were already finished by the end of last year.”
Taipower said that Tongxiao Power Plant's small unit will be online soon. The hydraulic generator unit can also be flexibly dispatched to offer support. With these various measures, there will be no problem with the power supply this year. However, Yeh believed that in addition to the power supply risk in March and April, the yearly maintenance of units in autumn and winter and the reduction of load in response to air pollution may cause more tensions in the power supply. He does not hold an optimistic view.